Checking on the House – Israel’s Surprise Attack on Nuseirat and the Onslaught that Followed

By Abdallah Aljamal – Palestine Chronicle

Eyewitnesses said that, during the invasion of the camp, invading Israeli forces targeted everyone and everything that moved in northern Nuseirat.

During the last few days, Nuseirat, in the central Gaza Strip, has been the target of relentless Israeli bombardment and artillery shelling. Israeli occupation forces invaded the camp under intense fire and they only withdrew after several days, due to the stiff resistance they met.

Before the invasion of the camp, many Palestinians, who had been displaced in the southern area of the Strip for months, had decided to return to their homes in central Gaza.

The decision was made on the basis of many considerations.

First, there is no safe place in the war-torn Strip, as repeatedly stated by many institutions and organizations throughout the six months of Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza.

Second, life conditions in the makeshift refugee camps in Rafah are unbearable, due to the spread of disease and the lack of space.

Third, Israeli occupation forces often threatened to invade the southernmost city of Rafah, which is now overpopulated by hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians, looking for safety.

Many people who decided to return to Nuseirat, however, were met by a tragic fate. It was the case of  Mazen Matar ‘Abu Mohammad, who was displaced to Rafah city with his family for months and decided to go back to his house just a few days before the Israeli invasion of the camp.

No Summer Clothes 

“I met our neighbor, Abu Mohammad, on Sunday afternoon. I hadn’t seen him in several months because he and his family had been displaced to the south. I missed him a lot, so I warmly greeted him,” Amr al-Saydawi told The Palestine Chronicle.

“He told me that he was going to check on his home, located in the Al-Mufti area, north of Nuseirat,” al-Saydawi continued.

“I was worried about the shelling and I asked him not to go, but Abu Mohammad insisted, because he wanted to assess the condition of the building.”

After half an hour, however, Israeli shelling intensified in the Al-Mufti area and al-Saydawi learned that his beloved neighbor had been killed.

“Abu Mohammad entered his house and walked around, inspecting the damage caused by the continuous shelling on the camp since the beginning of the war,” al-Saydawi said.

“He stayed in the house for only a few minutes, then he hurriedly left due to the intensification of the Israeli shelling,” he continued.

“Abu Mohammad rushed out of his house to return to his family, who were still living in a tent, in Rafah city. He closed the door of his house but he could barely walk a few steps,” al-Saydawi explained.

“An Israeli tank shell hit Abu Mohammad, killing him at the door of his house.”

“Abu Mohammad’s children were waiting for their father to return with some summer clothes, as they were still wearing winter clothes when they were displaced to Rafah. But he returned to them as a martyr, and they will have to face the war without his support,” al-Saidawi explained, in tears.

We Will Stay 

Eyewitnesses said that, during the invasion of the camp, invading Israeli forces targeted everyone and everything that moved in northern Nuseirat.

“Our neighbor, Mohammed Shahada, was targeted by an Israeli quadcopter as he stood at the door of his house, and he died from his wounds, two days later,” Aahed Matar told The Palestine Chronicle.

“The son of another neighbor, from the al-Wawi family, was also injured while sitting in his room. The quadcopter fired a bullet at his neck, and he is still receiving treatment at the hospital,” Matar continued.

“The occupation is pursuing a killing policy with the clear aim of killing all Palestinians.”

“The latest operation was the toughest for the residents of the Nuseirat refugee camp,” Anas al-Hawajri told The Palestine Chronicle.

The latest military operation was carried out in a surprise move by the Israeli army and the residents of the northern areas of the camp were not able to leave their homes, due to the relentless shelling.

“The occupation targeted the house of our neighbors from the Abu Atiyya family, killing and wounding its members,” al-Hawajri said, adding that hundreds of buildings and residential units in the camp were destroyed.

“The occupation killed everything and everyone that moved in the northern areas of Nuseirat. It targeted civilians with warplanes, artillery shells, and a hail of bullets using vehicles and quadcopters,” al-Hawajri continued.

“We managed to leave our home but when we returned, we found our home turned into rubble. We lost our home, our shelter, our refuge,” he said.

“Now, like thousands of Palestinian families, we are living in tents. We refuse to be displaced and we insist on continuing our resistance against the occupation, by staying in our land.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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