Friday, May 24, 2024

Thousands Return To South Gaza As Israel Pulls Out Troops – N.F Times

Gaza: Soon after the Israeli army said its troops were pulling out, people began to emerge into the devastated landscape — the residents of Khan Yunis returning to find what remained of their homes.

Nearly 400,000 people lived in Khan Yunis and its environs before October 7. Much of the area is now in ruins after months of bombardment and heavy fighting between Israeli troops and Palestinian militants.

A straggle of men and boys riding donkey carts, bicycles and the odd pickup truck headed north out of Rafah in the far south of the Gaza Strip, where more than 1.5 million Palestinians had taken refuge from the relentless Israeli ground invasion and bombardment.

They passed the burned-out shell of the Al-Salam hospital, with almost all of the buildings around it razed to the ground.

The Israeli army told AFP that it had pulled its 98th division of ground troops out of the southern city on Sunday to “recuperate”, with one official telling the Israeli media it had killed thousands of Hamas fighters there.

The Gaza war broke out on October 7 with an attack by Hamas militants that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, Israeli figures show.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 33,175 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

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