Dozens of injured people, as well as bodies recovered from the rubble of the Ma’an school, a district of Khan Younès, were taken to the Nasser hospital in this town in the south of the small coastal territory, targeted for several days by intense bombing by the Israeli army.
Mohammed Salou said he lost his sister in the strike. “An hour ago, my cousin called me and told me to come because my sister’s body was lying in a schoolyard and we couldn’t get it back,” he told the ‘AFP. At school, he said he saw “the remains of people (refugees, editor’s note) in the school”, but thinks that “it was not the school itself which was targeted, but rather the area which ‘surround’. He explains that he transported his sister’s body to the hospital himself.
“We took refuge at school and they continued to target us”
Many Palestinians have found refuge in schools or hospitals since the start of Israeli bombings in the Gaza Strip, carried out in retaliation for an unprecedented Hamas attack in Israel on October 7.
The Israeli army has repeatedly claimed that Hamas was using civilians as “human shields” and that fighters from the Islamist movement, in power in Gaza since 2007, were hiding among the displaced, including in schools and hospitals. .
Since the start of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, these two types of buildings or their direct surroundings have been struck in the Gaza Strip. “We took refuge in the school and they continued to target us,” said Etraa al-Jerjaoui, a woman who left her home for fear of airstrikes and who lost a loved one in the school bombing. .
80% of the population of the Gaza Strip have had to leave their homes since October 7
On Sunday, the Israeli army published a map dividing the Gaza Strip into numbered “blocks”, whose inhabitants are previously ordered to urgently evacuate when a strike is imminent. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (Ocha), the area designated for “immediate evacuation” on Sunday represented 20% of Khan Younes and sheltered around 117,000 people, half of whom were displaced.
The Ocha adds that around 1.8 million people, or 80% of the population of the Gaza Strip, have had to leave their homes since the start of hostilities triggered on October 7 by the Hamas attack, which 1,200 dead according to Israeli authorities. The Israeli military response has since left more than 16,200 dead in the Gaza Strip, the majority of them civilians, according to the Hamas government. The intense bombings, then the ground operations launched on October 27, pushed a large part of the inhabitants of the north of this overpopulated territory towards the south.
After experiencing a slight respite during a seven-day truce, Gaza residents are now trapped in a shrinking perimeter with nowhere to go, with access to Egypt closed to them and Israel imposing a “siege.” complete “.
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