Security & Aviation

Gaza Residents Fled Israel’s Bombing. Half Their Homes Have Been Damaged or Destroyed


Yarden Michaeli


Avi Scharf

Satellites reveal the vast devastation across the Gaza Strip. The new reality that the Israel Defense Forces’ operations have created will affect the entire region for years. This is how it looks

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One of Israel’s most dramatic acts in the war, which erupted following Hamas’ terror attack, is the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Gazans from their homes and the destruction of large swaths of the Strip. Residents, military officials and journalists describe scenes of vast devastation. “It’s like after an atomic bomb,” one of them reported in Haaretz after visiting northern Gaza.

An accurate estimation of the destruction is a challenging task due to the fog of war – and as the IDF restricts entry by journalists. But it’s possible to create a map of the destruction using satellite data, which shows that at least half of all the buildings in the enclave are likely to have been damaged or destroyed, according to American researchers.
Most of the destruction is in the north, but bitter fighting is also underway in the south, as is seen in the satellite data. Some 1.7 million Gazans have fled their homes during the war, and most of them are now in the south, the United Nations says. Huge tent cities have been put up along the Egyptian border. A new humanitarian, security and diplomatic reality has emerged, and it will shape the region for years to come.


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