Recent devastation in Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza sparks horror among returnees

Palestinians who have recently returned to Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza have expressed shock and horror at the devastating level of destruction left behind after a three-week Israeli military operation against Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups. The camp, which has seen intense battles, bombardment, and firefighting, is in a state of complete ruin, with rubble and demolished buildings lining the streets. The returnees have reported witnessing horrifying scenes, with injured and dead people lying on the ground, and essential services such as electricity, water, clinics, and medicines being unavailable. Many residents have been displaced, with homes, markets, hospitals, and infrastructure destroyed. The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Unrwa, has received reports of children being killed and injured while sheltering in Unrwa-run schools besieged by Israeli tanks. Thousands of residents now have no choice but to live amid the rubble, in destroyed Unrwa facilities, and in uninhabitable living conditions. Displaced families are seen walking back to the camp, carrying their belongings amid the devastation. The returnees describe an unprecedented level of destruction, with the camp resembling a wasteland. They plead for help from the international community and urge action to assist those affected by the conflicts. The level of devastation is described as unimaginable, with individuals walking the streets as if seeing them for the first time. The destruction is believed to be a strategic move to displace residents and force them to leave the country, but the returnees vow to remain steadfast in the face of adversity.