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Israel-Hamas war rages, Gaza braces for potential Rafah offensive

Israeli operations in northern Gaza left “total destruction,” according to residents in the Tal El Hawa neighborhood of Gaza City, with some saying they have had to drink from toilets due to a lack of water.

Abdul Kareem Al-Qaseer has been displaced for two months from Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza to the “industrial area” southeast of Gaza City, where some industrial factories are located, he told a local journalist working for CNN on Saturday.

Al-Qaseer said the Israel Defense Forces “hit the whole area, (resulting in) a large number of martyrs and wounded people” where he was sheltering. 

“We were besieged. We tried to go back to the north, but we were besieged here,” he said. “Every day there were martyrs. Every day there was shelling. Every day there was hunger.”

“We even had to drink water from the toilets. We had to drink from it and make our children drink from it. There was no food, no drink,” Al-Qaseer added.

Olfat Hamdan said she had witnessed bodies lying in the streets of Gaza City, noting that “nobody was able to drag them or move them.”

“What have I seen? Total destruction — look at of the scale of the destruction,” she said in a video commissioned by CNN, as she pointed to damaged buildings and rubble around her. 

Another Gaza City resident, Main Naim, also said he had seen dead bodies on the streets, describing some as having been there for 10 days.

“Nobody is able to move them,” he said. “They destroyed these areas, as you can see yourself,” he added, pointing to rubble in the video. 

Fighting has continued sporadically in northern Gaza. Earlier this month, the IDF reported further operations in the northern Gaza Strip, where it said “IDF troops are continuing to enter Hamas military compounds and eliminate terrorists.” 

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