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Gaza City in ruins after becoming battleground during Israeli offensive

Palestinians walk past the building destroyed in the Israeli Bombardment of the Gaza Strip in Gaza City on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024.   -  
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Mohammed Hajjar/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.


Gaza City's downtown area bears the scars of intense fighting during the Israel-Hamas war, with extensive damage rendering many streets unrecognizable.

The central Palestine Square neighborhood, located in the heart of Gaza City, has witnessed the destruction of the majority of its buildings, either significantly damaged or completely leveled. Debris litters the streets, telling the story of the fierce battles that unfolded.

Being a focal point of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, central Gaza City faced early and heavy targeting during the Israeli ground incursion into the territory. The aftermath has left the urban landscape transformed.

The toll on the people of Gaza has been severe, with more than 22,000 Palestinians reported killed by Israeli fire and airstrikes since the outbreak of the war. The Hamas-run Health Ministry provides these grim statistics, highlighting the human cost of the prolonged conflict.

The war ignited on Oct. 7, triggered by a militant incursion linked to Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups into southern Israel. The ensuing violence resulted in the deaths of 1,200 people, primarily Israelis, and the abduction of 240 others. 

The ongoing clashes have left deep scars on both the physical and human landscape of Gaza City.

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