in Khan Younès, the inhabitants find their city devastated by the war

in Khan Younes the inhabitants find their city devastated by

“The smell of death floats in Khan Younes,” say Gazans returning to their homes in this town in the south of the Gaza Strip, from which the Israeli army withdrew. The inhabitants of Khan Younes, like a large part of the population of the Palestinian enclave, had until then taken refuge in the neighboring town of Rafah, relatively spared by the fighting. But with the departure of Israeli troops, many Gazans prefer to reoccupy their devastated homes in Khan Younes, rather than staying in tents.

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After months in Rafah, a border post between the strip of Gaza and theEgypt where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have taken refuge, Asma decided to immortalize her return home, to Khan Younes. This is the first time she has returned to her town since the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the southern Gaza Strip. She films everything. Arriving in his neighborhood is made to the sound of rubble crunching under his feet. Everything at her house is upside down. The cupboards are destroyed. Pots are on the floor and a thick layer of dust covers the furniture.

Here in the living room there are no more windows “, she says. All the windows in the apartment were blown out by the explosions. On the ground, there is glass everywhere. “ We’re going to clean and repair with my brother. We’re going to put plastic on the windows. We’ll try to repair the door. We’ll see… “, she continues.

Asma ventures onto the balcony. In front of her house, the building is gutted. From here she sees Khan Younes, now a ghost town.

Despite the departure of Israeli troops, the population has not yet returned. Like Asma, other inhabitants of Khan Younès who had taken refuge in Rafah came as scouts. “ Some, mainly men, already spent yesterday night in Khan Younes. But for women and children, we will still wait two or three days », says Asma. The objective? Make sure that the Israeli troops have left, says the young woman.

For her, the situation in Rafah is “ unlivable “. “ We have to go home. In Rafah, there are too many people “. And to add: “ [À Khan Younès]we will have no electricity, no water, no internet but at least we will be at home “.

After this brief visit to Khan Younes and seeing the damage to her apartment, Asma returned to Rafah. time to restore the apartment “. Then, the young woman hopes for only one thing: to settle there again with my family.

After months of fierce fighting, Khan Younes is nothing but ruin, residents testify. The city’s civil defense appealed to the United Nations on Monday for equipment to excavate the bodies, most of which it said were in an advanced state of decomposition.

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