Gazan Family Returns to Find House Destroyed by Israel, Builds DIY Shelter

Khan Younis, Gaza, Palestine — Ahmed Abu Daqqa made a DIY shelter in front of where his family’s home was bombed by Israel after making the trek from Rafah to his hometown of Khan Younis. Among 1.7 to 2 million Palestinians internally displaced because of the Israeli invasion of Gaza, Abu Daqqa and his family feared Israel’s likely impending invasion of Rafah and came back home only to find nothing left.

Unicorn Riot heard from Abu Daqqa while he was setting up the makeshift shelter for his family in front of where his home once was. “I journeyed from Rafah back to my home, now buried here, with no trace left behind. Some of it is buried beneath the ground, while the rest remains unknown,” said Abu Daqqa.

Abu Daqqa said he was fearful of being left without the furniture he had recently gathered, of which he used to erect the shelter for “protection” and to “shield” his kids from the night cold and “stray dogs.”

“I pitched my tent amidst the rubble, fearing that if I left Rafah, the Jews would come and we’d be left without any furniture. Especially since these are the only furnishings we managed to gather over the last seven months, to provide the kids. All because of the fear that if they were to enter Rafah, we’d end up without any furniture or clothes. I had to leave and come here wearing the same clothes I had on when I departed. We’re scared of the threats in Rafah, which is why we haven’t slept tonight, disturbed by what has happened there.”

Ahmed Abu Daqqa

Israel’s latest war on Gaza, after the Hamas-led attacks on October 7, is widely seen as an ongoing genocide on the Palestinian people both in the besieged Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank.

Ongoing War Crimes: Israel Targets Journalists, Aid Workers, Civilians in Gaza – April 13, 2024

According to Al Jazeera on April 28, at least 34,454 Palestinians have been killed. Last week, the Euro-Med Monitor reported at least 42,510 Palestinians have been killed with 38,621 being civilians — these totals include updated numbers of those who are presumed dead under the rubble of bombed buildings — with 15,780 children being killed by Israel and 10,091 women. Over 79,240 Palestinians have been injured.

At least 130 mass graves of Palestinians have been found across Gaza as Israeli troops withdraw from areas. Deceased bodies have been strewn about, with videos showing bodies flattened, run over by Israeli tanks. Bodies are being found without heads and with hands tied behind their backs.

With the expected Israeli invasion on Rafah, many of the Palestinians who were forced south into Rafah have been heading back home and finding many neighborhoods throughout Gaza destroyed.

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