Monday 8 April 2024 - 08:48

Palestinians Return to Devastation in Khan Younis after Israeli Withdrawal

Story Code : 1127493
Palestinians Return to Devastation in Khan Younis after Israeli Withdrawal
Al Jazeera correspondent Hind Khoudary visited the ravaged neighborhoods of Khan Younis following the departure of Israeli troops, witnessing widespread destruction that left residents shocked. "People told us that they did not even recognize their houses, their neighborhoods from the amount of destruction," Khoudary reported, highlighting the scale of devastation.

"There are no streets any more. It is converted into a pile of sand," Khoudary added, emphasizing the extent of the damage. "Even the houses that are still standing, are unsuitable for living."

Displaced Palestinians, after enduring temporary shelters in nearby Rafah, embarked on a journey back to their homes, only to find them in ruins. Muhammad Yunis, a 51-year-old Palestinian from northern Gaza, expressed his despair, stating, "Isn’t the bombing, death and destruction enough? There are bodies still under the rubble. We can smell the stench."

The toll of the conflict is staggering, with at least 33,175 people killed in Gaza, predominantly women and children, since the commencement of Israel’s attack in October. Gaza’s health ministry estimates approximately 7,000 missing individuals, believed to be buried under the debris of bombed buildings.

Maha Thaer, a mother of four returning to Khan Younis, expressed her grim reality, stating, "even though it is not suitable for living, but it is better than tents," as she prepared to move back into her badly damaged apartment.

The aftermath of the Israeli war has left vast areas of Gaza in ruins, with damage estimated at $18.5 billion to critical infrastructure, predominantly housing, according to a World Bank report.