Sun 26-May-2024

Homeland owners return, life returns to Khan Yunis despite killing and destruction

Monday 15-April-2024


Amidst the rubble of destroyed houses and streets, hundreds of citizens in Khan Yunis are making their way to their devastated homes, attempting to bring life back to them after more than four months of corruption and destruction by the Israeli occupation army. In the neighborhoods of Khan Yunis, both west and east, and even in the central areas, one can see groups of citizens returning to what remains of their homes, in a triumph of the will to live over the Israeli approach of death, despite the ongoing risks.

The images show Palestinians moving on foot or in animal-drawn carts towards the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, which has become a city of ruins.

According to the correspondent of the Palestinian Information Center, the municipal teams in Khan Yunis have been working since the first moments of the Israeli withdrawal a few days ago to reopen roads and streets and remove the rubble from the paths of the citizens.

The Israeli occupation forces announced their withdrawal from the neighborhoods of Khan Yunis a few days ago, after four months of incursion that expanded amid fierce clashes, reaching all parts of the governorate and causing destruction to more than 70% of the buildings and infrastructure.

Although the occupation has not officially announced the possibility of the citizens’ return to their areas from which they were displaced to Al-Mawasi and Rafah, the residents have begun to return, putting an end to a harsh displacement journey, especially in the face of the threat of an invasion of Rafah.

And the municipal teams have begun repairing the water networks in the areas of Khan Yunis, in an attempt to bring life back to the city, in an effort to return people to their homes, despite all the terrorism and Israeli brutality that has occurred.

We will return despite the destruction

The scene broadcasted in the media of the teams opening the streets and repairing what can be repaired did not please the Hebrew media and officials in the occupation entity, as they claimed that Hamas had regained control of Khan Yunis.

Maha Al-Araj, a resident of western Khan Yunis, said, “I feel shocked and deeply saddened. My house is partially destroyed. There are no walls or windows, and most of the towers have been completely demolished.”

She added that she would return to her severely damaged house, saying, “Although it is not suitable for living, it is better than the tents.” She pointed out that some of her neighbors are facing greater suffering, as they found their homes destroyed and do not know where they will go.

The 44-year-old woman described what Khan Yunis has become, saying, “It has become a ghost town. They destroyed the buildings and trees. All the streets have been excavated, and nothing is left. I couldn’t hold back my tears as I walked through the city streets.”

The stench of death

She added, “The smell of death is spreading, and there is no longer a city, only rubble. I couldn’t help but cry as I walked through the streets. Bodies were scattered. I saw people digging and retrieving bodies.”

The Israeli army’s invasion of Khan Yunis began on December 4th and ended without the occupation army achieving any tangible military achievement except for widespread destruction and mass killing of civilians.

It was notable that Palestinian families returned immediately after the occupation army withdrew, despite the massive destruction that befell the area.

On the other hand, the Israeli occupation government failed to persuade the settlers to return to the settlements in Gaza, despite the financial incentives, in an attempt to revive life there.

A contrasting image in the Gaza envelope

A video clip angered Israelis on social media and gained widespread circulation. It shows municipal workers in Khan Yunis repairing water connections as residents return after the Israeli withdrawal, while the settlers have been unable to return to their homes near Gaza for six months.

Meanwhile, the Hebrew newspaper “Yedioth Ahronoth” said that Hamas regained control of Khan Yunis four days after the army’s withdrawal, at the end of a four-month-long operation.

The newspaper added that four days after the Israeli army’s withdrawal from Khan Yunis, and with the return of the population to their devastated homes, Hamas activists were seen starting to regain control of the city.

The Hebrew newspaper continued, “It is difficult to achieve even the most modest goals of the war, which is reducing Hamas’s civilian control, not its military control. Veteran army officers estimate that Hamas will not be defeated until 2026 or 2027 under the best circumstances.”

Meanwhile, social media platforms witnessed widespread interaction with the video clip. Bashir Bouhaja said, “It is a conclusive proof that the land has a people, and the claim by the Zionists before the occupation of Palestine that it is a land without people for people without a land is a big lie. Palestine will remain in the hearts, and it belongs to its people and no one else.”

Ahmed Halabi said, “The difference is very simple. Palestinians, the owners of the land, have sacrificed for it since the beginning of the occupation, while the other party is nothing but a cancer that will disappear no matter how long it takes.”

Nasir Muhammad Fadel wrote, “Indeed, the giants of Palestine, like the phoenix birds, return after their enemy thought it had turned them into ashes, only to be shocked by their return, stronger than they were.”

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