War in Khan Younis: Daily Life for Palestinian Refugees in Gaza

The flight alarm goes off. The bombs fell a few hundred meters away.

It has been everyday for thousands of people in Khan Younis, south of Gaza.

When the war began, after the terrorist attack on Israel on 7 October, the hardest battles were in the north. Slowly but surely they have moved south. Now Israeli forces are in the heart of Khan Younis.

There is also Hani Marish and his two sons. They are among the 1.9 million Palestinians who are now refugees in their own country.

– I don’t fear for myself. I am afraid for my children, says Marish to a local team NRK collaborates with in Gaza.

This is what it sounds like when the bombs fall a few hundred meters away.

Their home is now a makeshift tent made of tarpaulins and planks.

They are not alone in that. Large parts of the city in southern Gaza are filled with similar homemade tents.

All possible space must be used, so the pavement is also used as both a kitchen and a living room.

There is no space inside the tent to cook, so cooking must be done outside.

Photo: Jebril Abu Kmeil / NRK

Can’t sleep because of the bombs

Marish is actually from Shejaiya in northern Gaza, but had to flee to Az-Zawayda early on. From there he had to flee to Khan Younis.

Now he fears having to flee a third time, this time to Rafah, because of the harsh attacks against Khan Younis.

– It may have been the most difficult nights I have experienced, really, describes Marish.

Hani Marish and his sons have fled from north to south on the Gaza Strip. Now they may have to flee again.

He and his sons are tired now; the bombs make it difficult to sleep.

– When we hear rockets, we stick together to protect the children. We fear that splinters from the roof will kill us while we sleep.

Lack of food and water

Khan Younis is the largest city in the south of the Gaza Strip, but no longer resembles itself.

Now this is where the fiercest battles take place between Israel and Hamas. It is also where large parts of the civilian population now live.

Almost since the war started, Israel has asked civilians in the north to flee to the south.

Several thousand are missing after massive bomb attacks in the last two days.

Khan Younis is one of the largest cities in Gaza. Now the city is full of refugees in makeshift tents.

Photo: Jebril Abu Kmeil / NRK

In addition, they lack both food, water and medicine. If they are to cook, they need wood – which has become increasingly expensive.

A video NRK has been sent from Gaza is supposed to show a UN warehouse being emptied. It has also happened earlier in the war.

Then halibut flour and other basic products were stolen from the buildings in central and southern parts of the Gaza Strip.

– Panic and chaos

Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland, says the conditions in Khan Younis are appalling.

– Panic, chaos, looting like no other. It is impossible to carry out aid work. Our aid workers are now fleeing for their lives. One of my colleagues lives on the streets with his two-month-old baby, he says.

A total of 17,177 Palestinians have now been killed in the war, according to the health authorities in Gaza on Thursday.

The numbers have not been verified from independent sources, but they are regularly used by the UN.

Rumor of deportation

Marish, the father of two, has heard several rumors that Palestinians will be sent out of Gaza. Either to Sinai in Egypt, to Yemen or to Algeria.

He has also heard that European countries accept Palestinians. It is not relevant for him.

– No. We will not leave our country. We want our country, we want to be here. Show us mercy in this war, he says.

Sarah Al-Hindi has also heard that people are to be sent out of Gaza.

Every day is a struggle for Sarah Al-Hindi when she has to cook. Sometimes she can’t find wood. Other times she cannot find flour to make bread.

Photo: Jebril Abu Kmeil / NRK

Like Marish, she has already fled her hometown and now fears that she will have to flee again.

– We don’t know where to go. We are very scared. Every day they say something different, says Al-Hindi.

Nabolanda says no

But the neighboring countries will not accept Palestinian refugees.

Egypt has accepted a few badly injured Palestinians – but no refugees.

Neither do Jordan and Lebanon, where many Palestinians already live.

2023-12-07 22:25:00
#Refugees #live #tents #fighting #Khan #Younis #Gaza #Strip

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.