Nine weeks ago, the Gaza Strip was a bustling home to more than two million people. Today, neighborhoods have been flattened by Israeli airstrikes and farming communities have been bulldozed by invading Israeli tanks.
Video and satellite imagery captured in late November and early December reveals a devastating transformation in much of northern Gaza.
The Port of Gaza used to be a lifeline for the Gazan fishing industry, with a fish market next to the shore.
But now the entire area is wrecked.
Satellite imagery shows that the fighting has resulted in heavy damage to almost every corner of Gaza City, far beyond the port area. A U.N. assessment in early November found that at least 6,000 buildings had been damaged with about a third of them destroyed.
Israeli officials vowed to destroy Hamas in the wake of the group’s surprise Oct. 7 attack and have since subjected Gaza to one of the most intense bombing campaigns of the 21st century.
Before the war, Omar Mukhtar Street was the main road through Gaza City, with restaurants, banks and shops on either side of Aljondy Almajhool Park.
Now the road is filled with rubble from destroyed buildings. Those still standing are heavily damaged.
Destruction along the coast
Gaza’s seashore was once an escape for Palestinian families during hot summers with frequent blackouts.
The beaches are now deserted, apart from Israeli tanks and bulldozers. Many of the high-rise hotels that once offered tourists sea-view rooms are scorched, their windows blown out.
The damage to Gaza’s coastline stretches all the way to the northern border, where Israeli forces invaded on Oct. 27.
Shati, initially established as a refugee camp in 1948, has grown into a densely populated neighborhood to the north of Gaza City, near the coast. Its narrow streets, shown below, were home to 90,000 people before the war.
After being hit with multiple airstrikes, buildings are crumbling and the streets are filled with rubble.
The cost of carving Gaza in two
Israeli forces that invaded from the east effectively separated Gaza in two and blocked the roads running from north to south. The area around this advance suffers some of the most concentrated damage.
The next phase
These images capture only a fraction of the destruction across the Gaza Strip. Recent assessments indicate that more than half of the buildings in northern Gaza show signs of damage.
Frequent aerial bombardments have hit the south, too, since the war began on Oct. 7, including at Al Amin Mohamed mosque, shown here.
The mosque, northeast of Khan Younis, was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike at the start of the conflict.
Israeli forces are now concentrating their ground offensive on Khan Younis, southern Gaza’s largest city, raising the possibility that the destruction seen in northern Gaza could soon be mirrored in the south. Israeli officials say that Hamas leadership has established a stronghold there after fleeing the north.
The hundreds of thousands of civilians who were told to seek refuge in the south at the start of the war are again finding themselves in the center of conflict. Humanitarian conditions are rapidly deteriorating, with the United Nations warning that shelters are far beyond capacity, leaving many people to sleep on the street or in empty lots.
Read More:Gaza After Nine Weeks of War