The vibrant Rimal neighbourhood, the heart of Gaza, has been completely obliterated.
The Rimal neighborhood, once the vibrant heart of the Gaza Strip, has been nearly obliterated in the intense Israeli bombardment over the past four days.
Israeli bombs have mercilessly shattered the walls of apartment towers, uprooted trees that once lined bustling sidewalks, and leveled university buildings, mosques, and the offices of various institutions, including Gaza’s main telecommunications company and international media outlets.
“This is the destruction of our center, our communal life,” lamented Palestinian businessman Ali al-Hiyak from his home near Rimal. “They are shattering us,” he added.
The relentless bombardment on Tuesday marked Israel’s most severe bombing campaign in recent memory, according to residents of the besieged territory. This onslaught was unleashed after Hamas launched its deadliest attack on Israel in decades on Saturday.
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has vowed to initiate a ground offensive in Gaza, a region now reeling under the weight of Israeli bombs. Gaza’s Health Ministry reported at least 900 deaths and 4,600 injuries in five days of conflict. Meanwhile, Israel’s military stated that the death toll in Israel had risen to 1,200, with more than 2,700 people wounded.
Although Rimal was targeted during the last war in Gaza in 2021, the scale of Tuesday’s strikes was unprecedented.
“These explosions sound different,” said 30-year-old Saman Ashour in Gaza City, listening to the deafening roar of explosions from a neighborhood north of Rimal. “It’s the sound of vengeance.”
Casualties were widespread, from local journalists to shopkeepers. Drone footage depicted vast areas of Gaza City transformed into dirt craters and ruins. Issa Abu Salim, a resident, stood in shock, surveying the remnants of his home, his clothes covered in the dust of destruction. “We’ve lost everything—our money, our identity cards. The entire house, all four floors, gone,” he said. “The most beautiful area, they destroyed it.”