Photos: 100 days of agony in Israel-Hamas war unlike any seen in the Middle East

Israeli soldiers continue to detonate entire blocks in Gaza, saying they are destroying Hamas tunnels, whereas, Hamas fires volleys of rockets into Israel

By AP

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Photos: AP
Photos: AP

Published: Sat 13 Jan 2024, 1:06 PM

Last updated: Sat 13 Jan 2024, 2:43 PM

Photographs of a war unlike any seen in the Middle East have captured 100 days of agony.

Scenes from Hamas' surprise attack on a music festival, farming communities and army outposts in southern Israel are seared into the national psyche. The bloodied bodies of young men and women lying on a highway where they were gunned down. An older woman squeezed between two gunmen on a motorcycle while she is being taken to the Gaza Strip as a hostage.

Some 1,200 people were killed that day, Israel's worst single loss of civilian lives. About 250 others were abducted. Some, mostly women and children, were eventually released or traded for Palestinian prisoners. Some were killed in captivity.

The pain endures for the families of more than 100 people still held hostage by Hamas. Street graffiti and public vigils keep their plight in Israelis’ minds. The shock from what happened on October 7 has fuelled a nationwide determination to carry through the military’s offensive in Gaza until Hamas is eliminated.

Every day in Gaza, Israel's firing of rockets, artillery and missiles produce new images of Palestinian suffering and loss. Rescuers pull the body of a toddler out of the wreckage of a demolished building.

Outside of a morgue, relatives weep over loved ones lined up on the pavement in white body bags — another family killed in the Israeli bombardment.

At the few hospitals still operating, wounded patients are treated on the floor. Many of them are children, bloody and crying in pain. Overwhelmed doctors struggle to treat them with an increasingly insufficient stock of medicines and other supplies.

In 100 days, the military's relentless bombardment and ground assault has killed around more than 23,000 Palestinians — roughly 1 per cent of Gaza’s 2.3 million people. The fighting has uprooted almost the entire population, most of it squeezed into the territory’s far south.

In the north, which was Israel's first target, mountains of rubble fill the landscape. Much of Gaza City and surrounding districts have been levelled.

Many residents who fled fear they’ll never be allowed to return, or if they are, their neighbourhoods will be uninhabitable.

In parts of southern Gaza where Israel advised people to evacuate, rescuers dig through smoldering piles of concrete, stone and dust, looking for survivors of airstrikes and shelling.

Tent camps have sprawled over any empty piece of land. Crowds mob distribution sites for food, with one in four people in Gaza starving under Israel’s siege of the territory.

And the war goes on. Israeli soldiers detonate entire blocks in Gaza, saying they are destroying Hamas tunnels. Hamas fires volleys of rockets into Israel.

Israeli officials say their offensive will continue through 2024.

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