Panic and heartbreak: The devastating effect of an airstrike in Gaza

World

As Israel’s southern offensive continues, and thousands of Palestinians have been injured or killed, Khan Younis has been hit with an airstrike. Sky News’ chief correspondent Stuart Ramsay reports on the scenes in the city and the strike’s “devastating effect”.

It’s two months since Hamas crossed the border from Gaza, entered Israel and launched its bloodthirsty attack; killing, looting, and taking hostages.

Since then, Israel has launched its enormous response that started with airstrikes and artillery barrages and is now a full-on invasion of the whole of Gaza with soldiers and armoured vehicles fighting street to street.

In the process, much of the north of Gaza has been completely flattened. The Israel Defence Forces say hundreds of tunnel entrances have been found and a major proportion of the tunnel network destroyed.

Follow latest: ‘Hundreds’ killed in single day

KHAN YOUNIS MEN SEARCHING BUILDING Pic: Tariq Dahlan
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Two months since Hamas’s attack, Israel has carried out a full-scale invasion of Gaza. Pic: Tariq Dahlan

Everybody in Gaza is affected by the Israeli invasion. Hundreds of thousands have been forced to move locations multiple times. Many of the two million odd population is now crammed into the south, where there is little aid and little safety.

There is no ceasefire and there appears to be little prospect of one. International aid agencies and the United Nations have called for a ceasefire, although countries like the UK and the US talk about targeted attacks, increased aid for Gaza, pauses in the fighting – but crucially not a ceasefire.

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Israel is unrepentant and seems happy to ignore condemnation, particularly from Arab countries and the UN, while it works towards its two objectives: freeing the hostages and destroying Hamas.

KHAN YOUNIS_MEN SET UP LADDER TO GET INTO BUILDING Pic: Tariq Dahlan
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Many of the two million odd population in Gaza is now crammed into the south. Pic: Tariq Dahlan

The problem for them is that despite its overwhelming dominance of the battle space, no more hostages have been found and the Hamas leadership appear not to have been killed or captured.

Until they achieve something, this war will grind on and each day pictures of life and death in Gaza get worse and worse.

The latest images show the immediate aftermath of an airstrike in Khan Younis – and its devastating effect.

KHAN YOUNIS_INJURED MAN CARRIED Pic: Tariq Dahlan
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Israel is ‘unrepentant and seems happy to ignore condemnation’ in its response. Pic: Tariq Dahlan

On a main road there are injured everywhere, dazed and covered in dust and blood, and panic everywhere as an ambulance pulls up.

A man calls for help and shouts at others to come and help dig through the rubble by hand.

Off the main road a house is on fire, much of it has been destroyed.

KHAN YOUNIS_ INJURED EVACUATED ON STRETCHER Pic: Tariq Dahlan
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‘On a main road there are injured … and panic everywhere as an ambulance pulls up.’ Pic: Tariq Dahlan

An injured survivor with blood covering his face stands in the rubble, unsure what to do next.

Two men approach, and one lifts him onto his back and carries him away.

There are children injured, too. Footage shows rescuers bringing a little girl to the edge of the smashed building, they lower her down. She’s followed by another little girl, and then another.

KHAN YOUNIS_ AN INJURED MAN PULLED FROM THE RUBBLE Pic: Tariq Dahlan
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The IDF is now operating across the entire Gaza Strip. Pic: Tariq Dahlan

The rescuers, neighbours and friends search through the building, shifting rubble trying to find more survivors.

Another is trapped under rubble. A red scarf is placed near her head to try keep her comfortable as they frantically try to figure out how to extract her from the mass of concrete on top of her.

Survivors of this airstrike say there were about 50 people staying at this house, and that many of them had already been forced from their homes elsewhere in the Gaza Strip.

Ashraf Abu Asif’s wife and two daughters were killed in this attack.

KHAN YOUNIS_ ASHRAF ABU ASI SURVIVOR Pic: Tariq Dahlan
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Ashraf Abu Asif’s wife and two daughters were killed in the airstrike. Pic: Tariq Dahlan

“I am a resident of Bena Sela, we got displaced and came to the house of Abu Faiz and Abu Salah. We came here to live in the safety of God. We saw nothing until a missile fell on us,” he said.

“God rescued me, but my children, my brother’s children, my in-laws, everyone was at this home,” he added, saying he was going to the hospital next to try find other family members.

The IDF is now operating across the entire Gaza Strip.

KHAN YOUNIS LITTLE GIRL LOWERED Pic: Tariq Dahlan
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An airstrike in Khan Younis has caused devastation for Palestinians. Pic: Tariq Dahlan

From central Gaza, our team sent us pictures showing the scene outside one of the main hospitals still operating there.

Rimah Murad Mansi is sheltering behind the al Aqsa Hospital with her children. Crucially, she’s not inside the compound, so she and her family are exposed.

CENTRAL GAZA_ RIMAH MURAD MANSI
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Rimah Murad Mansi said Israel ‘hit us with everything, they humiliated us’

“They have hit us with everything they had. They hit us with everything, they humiliated us,” she said, saying they have no food or water.

“We have seen too much, and it is enough. The whole world is just looking at us, it is enough! We have seen everything, enough with it. Stand with us, stop this insanity. Stop being silent.”

Among crowds outside the front of the hospital, a little boy is looking for his father.

“Here he is, here he is,” he cries, as he sees his father’s body wrapped in a white sheet.

CENTRAL GAZA_PRAYING FOR THE DEAD
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A little boy was left ‘utterly inconsolable’ after his father died in an Israeli strike

He has just realised his father is dead.

He is utterly inconsolable. It’s the dawning realisation of his own loss that’s so heart-breaking.

And with no prospect of a ceasefire these scenes of the injured, the dead, and the mourning, will be repeated constantly.

CENTRAL GAZA_BOY OUTSIDE HOSPITAL
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‘Here he is, here he is,’ the boy cries after seeing his father’s body wrapped in a white sheet

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