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Gaza After Nine Weeks of War


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.

Fadi Alwhidi via Storyful

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.

Multiple craters can be seen on the pier, and waterfront restaurants and hotels have been destroyed by strikes.

The satellite image moves to show the area around the port. Restaurants and hotels are visibly destroyed. Craters can be seen on the pier.

This is Rimal, once one of the most prosperous areas of Gaza. Aljondy Almajhool Park is now covered in tank tracks, and the Palestinian Parliament building has been blown up.

The satellite image moves to show Rimal. The image shows many buildings have been destroyed, including the Palestinian Parliament building. Tank tracks can be seen in the Aljondy Almajhool Park.

Scroll to see before and now

Satellite images from Planet Labs

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.

Dozens of homes have been bulldozed, with huge mounds of earth moved to create temporary bases for Israeli vehicles.

The satellite image moves to show more destroyed buildings. Mounds of dirt can be seen around tank tracks.

Large greenhouses were demolished, and tank tracks and craters can be seen where a beach resort previously stood.

The satellite image moves to show a beach resort that has been destroyed. Large greenhouses have also been destroyed, with rubble visible where they previously stood.

The entire seafront has been bulldozed in this area, and large craters can be seen alongside high-rise buildings, many of which are damaged.

The satellite image moves to an area where the entire seafront has been bulldozed. Large craters can be seen in the earth as well as damaged buildings.

Satellite images from Planet Labs

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.

This neighborhood is cut into two by tank tracks, and dozens of its buildings are destroyed. Hundreds of others are damaged, including a university.

The satellite image moves to show more destroyed buildings. Heavy damage to Al-Azhar University is shown, as well as tanks in the courtyard. Scrolling reveals a satellite image from months earlier, in which the white path that splits Al-Mugharaqa did not exist.

Farmland across the width of the strip was bulldozed, and major roads have been torn up by the constant movement of tanks.

The satellite image moves to show more destroyed buildings, defensive earthworks, dirt roads and vehicle tracks. Scrolling reveals a satellite image from months earlier, where much of the area shown was farmland.

Huge craters and rubble are all that is left in some neighborhoods.

The satellite image moves to and highlights multiple craters, which are not present in the satellite image from months earlier.

Satellite images from Planet Labs

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.



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