10 July 2024

In Rafah, We Saw Destruction and the Limits of Israel’s Gaza Strategy

Adam Goldman

The armed convoy of jeeps filled with reporters rumbled into a dusty Rafah, passing flattened houses and battered apartment buildings.

As we dismounted our Humvees, a stillness gripped this swath of southern Gaza, near the border with Egypt. Slabs of concrete and twisted rebar dotted the scarred landscape. Kittens darted through the wreckage.

Streets once bustling with life were now a maze of rubble. Everyone was gone.

More than a million people have fled to avoid an Israeli onslaught that began two months ago. Many have been displaced repeatedly and now live in tent cities that stretch for miles, where they face an uncertain future as they mourn the loss of loved ones.

As Israel says it is winding down its operation against Hamas in Rafah, the Israeli military invited foreign journalists into the city on a supervised visit. The military says that it has fought with precision and restraint against Hamas fighters embedded in civilian areas.

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