The Israeli attack on the largest refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, targeting a Hamas commander, caused catastrophic destruction and claimed a huge number of lives, CNN reported on Wednesday, citing local rescue services and eyewitness accounts. – It was like the end of the world – reported one of the Palestinians.
Survivors of the attack describe the apocalyptic scenes that unfolded after the Israeli strike. Sunrise on Wednesday revealed a massive crater in the heart of the overcrowded Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza.
– I was waiting in line to buy bread when suddenly and without prior warning seven to eight bullets fell – said one of the witnesses. – There were (later) seven to eight huge holes in the ground, full of dead people, body parts were lying everywhere. It was like the end of the world, he said.
One of the witnesses told CNN that when he heard the sound of rockets, he immediately ran to the camp where his family was staying. – Children were carrying other injured children in their arms and running, and there was gray dust in the air. Bodies hung on the ruins of buildings, many of them unidentifiable. Some were bleeding, others were burned, the man said in a telephone conversation with American journalists. He added that there was chaos in the city. – I saw women screaming and confused. They didn’t know whether to cry over the loss of their children or to run and look for them, especially since many children were playing in the area, he said.
The media circulates photos of rescuers and ordinary people searching the rubble with their bare hands in search of survivors and the bodies of loved ones.
“A view that no one can imagine”
Video recordings from one of the hospitals located near the shelled camp show a long row of bodies lying on the floor and a queue of injured people, including children, waiting for a doctor – describes CNN.
He added that many of them were treated on the floor because the hospital was overcrowded. The facility’s director, Dr. Atef al-Kalhout, said many people died in the explosion, but did not give an exact number. – It’s a sight that no one can imagine: wounded martyrs, hundreds of charred bodies – said one of the doctors working there, quoted by CNN.
Mohammed Hawajreh, a nurse with Doctors Without Borders who works at Al Shifa hospital in Gaza, said some of the injured were also under their care. – Small children were taken to hospital with deep wounds and serious burns. They arrived without their families. Many screamed and called for their parents. I stayed with them until we managed to find a place for them because the hospital was bursting at the seams, Hawajreh said.
According to the Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry, twenty houses were “completely destroyed” in Gaza by the bombing.
Israeli army: we killed the Hamas commander
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it killed on Tuesday Ebrahim Biari, one of the Hamas commanders who masterminded the October 7 massacre. Ebrahim Biari was killed in the city of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip. Biari was said to be hiding in a refugee camp.
In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, IDF spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht accused Hamas of “hiding among civilians.” To the comment that there were many innocent civilians in the camp, Hecht replied that “this is the tragedy of war” and insisted that the civilians move south.
Hamas claims that the group’s commander was not hiding in the camp. A Hamas spokesman accused Israel of trying to justify a “heinous crime against the civilian population, women and children.”
Representatives of the Israeli military claim that apart from Biari, 50 other fighters were eliminated in the city, and Israeli troops took control of the “Hamas stronghold” there. The fortress was used by Biari for training in preparation for terrorist operations. There was infrastructure and tunnels there that were used by fighters to move to the coastal zone. In the fighting in this area, Israeli forces killed many terrorists and destroyed tunnels, weapons and military equipment, it was reported.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Ebrahim Biari was responsible for Hamas’s military operations in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. He was involved in sending terrorists to attack the port of Ashdod in 2004, in which 13 Israelis were murdered, and was responsible for directing rocket fire on Israel for two decades.
Main photo source: Reuters