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23 Aug, 2014

In photos: Gaza families face horror and devastation | The Electronic Intifada

After nearly twenty days of war, the southern Gaza neighborhood of Khuzaa, near Khan Younis, was still off limits on 26 July.

Israeli ground forces fired warning shots at neighborhood residents who had gathered one hundred meters from the entrance. They hoped in vain to look for missing relatives and check on the state of their houses.

Abasan al-Kabira, east of Khan Younis, was the easternmost area accessible on that day, or at least what remained of the neighborhood — which once boasted beautiful, large homes and palm trees.

The home of Ibrahim Abukther, 32, was at least three stories high. Now the external walls were missing for the most part.

On the top floor, lying on one of those soft blankets that are found in every Palestinian home, was a human hand. People gathered said Ibrahim was not able to flee in time. Israeli armed forces had begun shelling the road; his house was one of the closest to the fields leading all the way to Khuzaa and the so-called buffer zone.

Ibrahim’s left leg, burnt and still attached to the bottom part of his torso, was down in the garden. Emergency medic volunteers had lifted it gently and laid it on a stretcher. The stench of decomposing bodies was overpowering.

The same scenes played out in Shujaiya in northern Gaza that same day.

Read the rest: In photos: Gaza families return home to horror and devastation | The Electronic Intifada.