Humanitarian Pause in Gaza Reveals Humanitarian Catastrophe

Humanitarian Pause in Gaza Reveals Humanitarian Catastrophe

A Palestinian paramedic approaches a Palestinian child’s body buried in the rubble of a collapsed house in Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip. (Photo: AFP)

The temporary humanitarian pause in the Gaza Strip, which began on Friday, revealed the scale of the humanitarian catastrophe and the massive destruction caused by the Israeli army in various areas, especially Gaza City and the northern parts of the enclave, reported Anadolu Agency.

In the first minutes of the pause, hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians went to see their homes and neighborhoods, especially in the border areas and in areas where Israeli forces were deployed.

The Palestinians discovered massive destruction caused by Israeli forces in their areas of residence.


Decomposed bodies

Witnesses told Anadolu that during their return to their homes in the western regions of Gaza City and in the towns of Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia, they found the bodies of dozens of Palestinians who had been killed by the Israeli army.

They said that the bodies were decomposed, indicating that they had been killed several weeks ago, either during incursions or during the departure from Gaza City to southern areas.

The Palestinians also discovered a massive amount of destruction caused by the Israeli airstrikes and ground operation in Gaza City and northern parts of the strip.

Witnesses also said that they found entire residential neighborhoods containing hundreds of buildings and tens of thousands of homes completely destroyed.


Massive destruction

In addition to the massive damage to roads, buildings of government and private institutions, infrastructure, and water, electricity, and communications networks have been also destroyed.

Among the areas that witnessed widespread destruction were the towns of Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahia and Jabalia, the neighborhoods of Al-Rimal, Tal Al-Hawa, Sheikh Ijlin, and the vicinity of Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City.

Rescue crews also began their work trying to recover dead bodies from some of the destroyed buildings in those neighborhoods, according to witnesses.

Thousands of Palestinians were shocked when they saw their homes destroyed and surrounded by corpses and blood.


Witnessing disaster

Suhail Abdel Nabi, a Palestinian from the Bir al-Naja area in the town of Jabalia, said that he was shocked when he discovered that his house was destroyed. He had left it intact about two weeks ago when he fled the area to the al-Tuffah neighborhood, east of Gaza City.

“I left on foot this morning from one of the schools where I am with my family in the Al-Tuffah neighborhood, and two hours later I arrived to discover that my house was completely destroyed,” he told Anadolu.

"We found the bodies of people killed in our area. These are family members who tried to flee the area a few days ago and were targeted by the Israeli army with artillery shells and military drones," he went on to say.

Also in the northern regions, especially around the Indonesian Hospital in the town of Jabalia, massive destruction was witnessed after the Israeli army stormed the hospital and bombed its surroundings with a large number of shells during the hours last night.


Damage to Indonesian Hospital

“The Israeli occupation violently bombed the Indonesian Hospital last night, and its tanks and bulldozers demolished its fence and walls as well,” Munir Al-Borsh, the director general of the Health Ministry in Gaza, said in a statement to Anadolu.

“The tank entered the main building of the hospital after destroying its gate, demolishing one of its walls, and opening fire on patients and medical staff, which led to the death of an injured woman,” he said.

He pointed out that all the streets surrounding the Indonesian Hospital were completely destroyed by Israeli tanks.

The official asserted that the Israeli army constantly contacts the hospital administration to force those inside it to leave.


Israeli forces still deployed in Gaza

Israeli military vehicles are stationed in the Al-Rashid Street area along the North Gaza province and Gaza City, in addition to their presence in the southern part of the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood and the Sheikh Ijlin area.

The Israeli army maintained the presence of its ground forces in parts of the towns of Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahia and Jabalia, according to local sources.

Last night, warplanes, artillery, and tanks launched violent attacks on large areas in Gaza City and the northern part of the enclave.

Widespread clashes also broke out between members of the Palestinian armed factions and Israeli forces in the Al-Saftawi area, north of Gaza City.

Israeli aircraft launched violent raids in the Jabalia al-Balad area while the artillery targeted Sheikh Zayed City in the town of Jabalia as well.

These attacks took place a few hours before the temporary humanitarian pause between Palestinian group Hamas and Israel came into effect.

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