• Gaza

  • Monday, April 8, 2024 at 6:26 PM
    Last Update : Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at 5:31 AM

Returnees to Khan Younes Camp Fail to Recognize Their Own Houses

(Arab World Press) -  Maher Ramadan sits in front of what was once his house in the Khan Younes Camp after the sudden withdrawal of Israeli troops from the province, located in the southern Gaza Strip, saying that the extent of the devastation has rendered him barely able to recognize his own house.

The elderly Palestinian man, driven away from his own house during the past months due to the Israeli incursion, said that no one had been able to recognize their own house after the Israeli forces had wreaked havoc in the camp and in the province in general.

“The destruction was so immense that it looked like an earthquake had hit the area. It was even more powerful than the Turkey quake and the Ukraine war. This was total destruction. We could not distinguish our own homes, which had been bulldozed, burned or razed. There was no single house that was left standing,” Ramadan said in statements to the Arab World Press (AWP).

“All my neighbors’ houses were like that. This is our destiny! Thank God!” he noted.

According to a Palestinian field source who spoke to the AWP, Israeli army forces have withdrawn from the western areas in Khan Younes city, and were deployed in the east.

“The Israeli artillery is still stationed inside the towns of Khoza’a and Absan, with occasional retreating and advancing. The Israeli army’s withdrawal cannot be viewed as an end to danger or the return of safety to Khan Younes,” the source pointed out.

The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC) said on Sunday that the army had finished its ground operations in Khan Younes and had pulled the 98th Division out of the area, but kept the 162nd Division and the Nahal Brigade on the humanitarian corridor road that divides the strip into two parts.

Israel is also using the corridor to prevent the return of the inhabitants from the southern Gaza Strip to the north.

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the army justified the withdrawal of its forces from southern Gaza, four months after the invasion of Khan Younes, by pointing to a “depletion of combat and intelligence” efforts in the area.