BBC reporter: In southern Gaza, people live outside, scenes from apocalypse movies

The buzzing of Israeli drones does not stop

by Sededin Dedovic
BBC reporter: In southern Gaza, people live outside, scenes from apocalypse movies
© Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images

BBC reporter Rushdi Abu Alouf, currently residing in the southern region of the Gaza Strip, particularly in Khan Younis, shared a harrowing account of the dire circumstances unfolding in the city. Khan Younis has become a refuge for countless Palestinian families who have been forced to flee from the northern regions due to the looming threat of an Israeli ground offensive.

The city has witnessed an exodus of monumental proportions, with hundreds of thousands of Palestinians undertaking arduous journeys to reach Khan Younis. They've utilized any means of transportation available, often depending on the scarce availability of fuel for cars, or resorting to horse-drawn carts when possible.

In the absence of any other viable option, many have had no choice but to traverse the vast distances on foot. This mass migration reflects the gravity of the situation in the northern regions and the profound urgency felt by these displaced individuals to seek safety in Khan Younis.

"What they found was a city on its knees, ill-prepared for its population to literally double overnight. Every room, every alley, every street is full of men, women and young people. And there's nowhere else to go," says Alouf.

Hamas asserts that an alarming 400,000 out of the 1.1 million residents in the northern region of Gaza have made the treacherous journey south along Salah al-Din Road within the past 48 hours. These individuals have been compelled to heed Israeli directives to relocate.

The looming threat of Israeli airstrikes and a pending invasion, which follows an attack by Gaza-based militants resulting in the tragic loss of 1,300 lives in Israel, has overridden Hamas' previous orders to remain in place.

Rushdi Abu Alouf astutely highlights the dire situation in this slender strip of land, surrounded on all sides and isolated from the rest of the world. The limited options for its inhabitants are stark, and the assurance of safety is an elusive promise in such circumstances.