Khan Younis has being inundated by people.
Hundreds of thousands escaped from the north on anything they could find – automobiles if there was gasoline, horses and carts if one could be located, and their own feet if no other alternative existed.
They discovered a city on its knees, unprepared for its population to virtually quadruple overnight.
Men, women, and children pack every single space, alley, and street. If there are absolutely no choices.
According to Hamas, 400 thousand of the 1.1 billion people of northern Gaza have gone south down the Salah al-Din Boulevard in spite of Israel’s displacement ultimatum.
They included my wife, three children, and me.
For many, the fear of Israeli airstrikes and an approaching invasion – which comes after terrorists from Gaza killed 1,300 Israelis – nullifies Hamas’s mandate to remain in Gaza.
Nevertheless, one’s options for where to end up are limited on this cut strip of ground, is is bordered on all sides and closed off from the rest of the world. There is not such thing as promised health.
As the result, thousands of Gaza residents Hundreds of here, many of these had been previously ripped out of their houses, all disorganized, frightened, & anxious about what would come next.
This metropolis, which typically has 400,000 residents, has grown to more over a million overnight. They have come from the east as well as the north, which suffered greatly during the 2014 battle.
Things start to go apart.
Scarce resources are quickly running out. This is an already weary city. And the flow was too powerful, and everything began to unravel.
The major hospital here, which was already running low on supplies, has not only taken in ill and injured people from the north, but it has also become a haven.
As physicians treat fresh arrivals injured by Israeli bombings, refugees fill the hallways. The clamor of rivalry voices surrounds the air.
Nobody can attribute any for come here.
Hospitals, which serve because have constitutional safeguards, have been identified as the most secure destinations to be during an armed conflict.
By certain factors, they might prove to be the prosperous ones, even for their current now.
Doctors say they have practically nothing to offer the influx of fresh wounded – water is rationed to 300ml per patient per day. Nothing is given to refugees.
Residents in other areas welcome newcomers. To begin with, many people in Khan Younis lived in confined quarters. They’re now cheek by jowl.
I’ve seen little flats that were already housing more people than they could comfortably contain become “homes” for 50 or 60 people – no one can live like this for long.
My family and I currently live in a two-bedroom flat with four other people. We have many meters of personal space. I believe us to be quite fortunate.
Schools around the city, which are also “safe” from the battle, are packed with a large number of families – probably tens of thousands, but who knows? If you started counting, you’d never stop.
Every classroom at one UNRWA-run school is full, and every balcony area is crisscrossed with laundry lines.
Mothers and grandmothers prepare meals on park benches in the courtyard as their youngsters wait expectantly.
But when there isn’t any more room – and there isn’t any more room – people flows out onto the streets, fills the alleyways and underpasses, and lives and sleeps in the filth, dust, and debris, yearning for something better that may never come.
There isn’t much food or gasoline. The stores are devoid of water. The best chance is water stations. It is a disastrous scenario.
And it’s not like this city is immune to danger. It is still a warzone, and it is constantly bombarded. Buildings that have collapsed and mountains of rubble clutter the streets.
As Hamas continues to strike within Israel, I heard rocket launches near the hospital. That opens the door to revenge.
The sound of Israeli drones searching for their next target is constant.
And bombs fall, buildings collapse, and morgues and hospitals overflow.
This morning, a bomb exploded near my family’s apartment. It took me 20 minutes to call my son since all telephone services were down or highly disturbed.
People cannot live in this manner. And the invasion has only just begun.
I’ve covered four conflicts in Gaza, my hometown. I’ve never seen anything like that before.
I’d not observed somebody suffer or die through thirst in the area, no matter the awful the prior tensions had been. This is now an actual potential.
The sole path out of Palestine is by means of Egypt’s Rafah traversing, but remain restricted. And Cairo understands that opening it will result in a fresh humanitarian tragedy.
One million Gazan refugees are currently stranded 20 kilometers from Rafah. There will be commotion once the crossing is open.
I witnessed the same situation in 2014, when many attempted to flee the fighting. This time would be far, far worse. This is what Egypt is concerned about.