Ordinary Palestinians:The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza said at least 413 Palestinians were killed, including 78 children.
As the Palestinian militant group Hamas carried out devastating attacks on Israel over the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed revenge and declared a state of war against Israel. On Monday, Defense Minister Jov Galants ordered a “total siege” of Gaza, cutting off the enclave’s electricity, food, fuel and water.
Many Gazans, no strangers to war with Israel, seek refuge in their homes, most of which do not have access to bunkers. The region is one of the most densely populated areas on Earth, with approximately 2 million people living in 140 square kilometers.
Those who dare to get out do so simply to carry out necessary tasks or to search for relatives who have disappeared during Israeli airstrikes. The streets were broken and strewn with debris, and the air reeked of dust and gunpowder.
Salim Hussain, 55, lost his home when his building was hit by Israeli airstrikes. He lives on the first floor and told CNN that Israel issued a warning to him and his family shortly before the attack on the building. “We left (the tower) with only the clothes on our backs,” he told CNN, adding that he and his family now have nothing and nowhere to go. The Israel Defense Forces said on Sunday they were focused on controlling the Gaza Strip and urged civilians to leave residential areas along the border immediately for their own safety as Israeli military operations continue to target Hamas.
But most Gazans are unable to escape the besieged enclave. All exiting border crossings are closed, except for the tightly controlled Rafah crossing to Egypt.
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