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After fleeing south, some Gazans return home despite Israeli bombardment

Returning residents prefer the possibility of Israeli attacks on their homes to the certainty of overcrowding and shortages in the southern Gaza Strip.
Children from displaced families, who returned from Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip to the north due to the dangers and difficulties they faced there under Israeli bombardment, take shelter at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on October 25, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Dawood NEMER / AFP) (Photo by DAWOOD NEMER/AFP via Getty Images)

Muhammad Hussam is among the hundreds of thousands of Gaza City residents who evacuated to the south with his family on Oct. 13, following an Israeli army directive to head south for their safety.

However, after one week, Hussam, 22, like many others, chose to return to his home in the north, due to the ongoing Israeli airstrikes in the south and the lack of basic facilities. 

Hussam was one of over 100 people who sought shelter in a building where his father's friend lives. Women occupied the rooms, while the men slept outside in the building's yard.

“I never thought I would live through a time like this,” Hussam told Al-Monitor during a phone interview. "The humanitarian situation in the south is so hard, and it’s not even safe."

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