The bombs are back — with a vengeance

The city of Khan Younis came under bombardment on Friday. 

Mohammed Talatene DPA via ZUMA Press

The truce in Gaza saved people from death.

It gave people an opportunity to grieve and to check on their families and friends.

After the initial four days of the truce was over, there were announcements that it was being extended one day at a time. It was as if the Israeli occupation was giving Gaza’s people an opportunity to escape death for a few moments or a few hours.

During the truce, we were very happy not to hear the sounds of successive explosions.

We were able to leave our homes without the fear of being hit by missiles.

We had great hope that the truce would turn into a permanent ceasefire.

The week of the truce ended abruptly.

We did not gain anything from the week except the feeling of a little security that we had lost almost 50 days prior.

We were unable to meet our needs. Fuel was not allowed into Gaza in sufficient quantities and we could only obtain a little cooking gas.

During the truce, Israel kept threatening to continue the war, even to bomb Gaza with greater force. The threats were directed at southern Gaza.

It was like we were waiting for death, while praying that it would not come.

At 7 AM on Friday, 1 December, we heard the frightening sounds of explosions.

The sounds of airstrikes continued, then we heard sounds that appeared to be coming from the ground. It seemed like Israel’s tanks were trying to enter the eastern areas of Khan Younis, a city in southern Gaza.

The sound of the bombing did not stop for one moment, then the Israeli army began warning people in the eastern areas of Khan Younis. They were told to move to shelters in Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city.

Khan Younis had become a dangerous combat zone.


People in Gaza had hoped that the world had a conscience, that it would stop the machine of death that does not spare anyone.

Israel’s warnings cause great anxiety.

During the truce many people who had been displaced returned to their homes. Many people who found that their homes had been badly damaged still wanted to remain in them.

The new Israeli warnings are forcing more people to take shelter in schools.

People in southern Gaza now moving into schools have no idea if they will be safe there or if they will be attacked. That is what has happened to many people taking shelter in northern Gaza’s schoolsd.

There is no safe place in Gaza. The Israeli army’s claims that some areas are safe have turned out to be completely false.

Many people have already moved to Nasser hospital in Gaza. An immense burden has been placed on the hospital.

Not only does it have to bear responsibility for patients, doctors and nurses, it now has to host displaced people in large numbers.

Many people in Gaza do not know where to go.

The south has become very crowded. When more people are displaced, where will they go?

My family have thought about leaving our home in Khan Younis. The choice is very difficult.

We do not know where we can go and whether going somewhere else would prove to be a good decision.

Many displaced people have regretted leaving their homes. Some are even saying that they would prefer to die at home than be displaced and not have proper shelter.

My family have decided not to move.

My mother – who is unwell – has gone to my sister’s house west of Khan Younis. We have stayed at home but without my mother.

She is very worried and we are too. We miss her greatly.

It is the first time since this war began that we are not together.

This war is forcing us to live through the worst experiences of our lives.

We hope that the nightmare will end. Forever.

The resumption of Israel’s war has brought Khan Younis its most difficult moments so far.

Nobody is being spared from the bombing. Nobody knows what will happen to this city in the coming days.

Ruwaida Amer is a journalist based in Gaza.