Middle East

“They left us no place to stay”: Palestinians fleeing Rafah return to a destroyed Khan Younis

From CNN's Mohammad Al Sawalhi in Khan Younis, Abeer Salman, Sarah El Sirgany, Tim Lister and Sana Noor Haq

Mohamed Abu Daqqa is surrounded by a huge expanse of rubble, his curly tufts of hair gently fluttering in the breeze.

CNN video shows clothes and pieces of barbed wire sticking out from the debris of destroyed buildings in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza. Daqqa is one of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians forced to leave Rafah, in southern Gaza, after the Israeli military ordered people to evacuate the city last week ahead of a threatened ground assault. Many Palestinians forced to evacuare Rafah were already displaced.

The resident of Bani Suheila told CNN he returned to Khan Younis, only to find his neighborhood razed to the ground. At least 450,000 Palestinians have been forced to leave Rafah since May 6, according to the UN’s agency for Palestine refugees.

“You can see what the Israelis did to us. They destroyed us. They left us no place to stay. No shelter. They destroyed the town, destroyed the houses. People find their houses scattered in different areas,” said Daqqa.

“I don’t know what to say. There is no life left for us. And now they are invading Rafah and telling us to go back … We are just waiting for God’s grace,” he said. “It’s better than the humiliation we lived under in Rafah and in the tents and shelters. (But) no one is helping, no one is donating.”

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