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“No One Is Safe in Gaza”: Journalist Akram al-Satarri Reports from Khan Younis Amid Israeli Assault

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We speak with Palestinian journalist Akram al-Satarri in Khan Younis, the southern Gaza city that is now the focus of Israel’s assault. Israel has ordered many Palestinians to leave their homes and head further south toward Rafah near the Egyptian border, which Israel also attacked over the weekend. “They are being bombarded while they are trying to move,” says al-Satarri. “The safety is in the very south of Rafah, and when they reach the promised safety, they end up being bombarded.” Gaza’s Health Ministry says Israel’s air and ground assault has killed more than 800 people since Saturday, and Israel has killed over 15,500 Palestinians and displaced more 1.7 million from their homes since October 7, when it began its war on the besieged territory in response to a deadly attack by Hamas militants on surrounding Israeli communities.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We begin today’s show looking at Gaza as Israel expands its air and ground assault on the besieged territory days after a truce between Israel and Hamas ended. Palestinian health officials say Israel has killed at least 800 people since Saturday. The Gaza Health Ministry official says hospitals are being, quote, “flooded with an influx of dead bodies.” In Gaza City, a massive Israeli attack leveled about 50 buildings in the neighborhood of Shuja’iyya, reportedly killing more than 300 people.

We’re going to turn right now just outside the hospital in Khan Younis called the Nasser Hospital. There, Gazan journalist Akram al-Satarri is standing. He’s going to talk to us about the situation in the south of Gaza, in Khan Younis, and also talk about his own situation and where his family is living, as well. This is Akram.

AKRAM AL-SATARRI: … sixty-five square kilometers, becoming the largest battlefield on Earth. Gaza, 1.8 million people asked to move and leave their homes in the very north in the Gaza Strip, in Gaza City and Gaza central area, towards the very south of Gaza, to Rafah area. They are being bombarded while they’re trying to move. Houses are being destroyed. In last 24 hours, more than 1,760 people were killed. In the last 12 hours, more than 316 people were killed.

The massive movement of the people can be seen for everyone who’s moving throughout the different streets of the Gaza Strip, people who are grabbing anything they can take, people who moved from the north to the central Gaza and to the Khan Younis area. They are grabbing almost everything, because they came almost with nothing from the north. And now they’re being asked to move to the south because the bombardment is going heavier. And in the south, when they are settling there, the bombardment is resumed, and people are killed. In the last three or four hours, several incidents and several explosions were reported in different areas of the Gaza Strip, inclusive Khan Younis area, Rafah area, to the very south of the Gaza Strip, and Gaza central area and Gaza City and the north, as well.

Palestinians, who were left with almost nothing — no transportation, no fuel, no energy, no supplies whatsoever. Even the water now is becoming a very scarce commodity in the Gaza Strip. People with all of that facing — all of that they are facing are being asked to move. Some of them are walking on foot for such a very long time for the sake of just fleeing to safety. The safety is in very south of Rafah. And when they reach the promised safety, they end up being bombarded. When they reached the promised safety, they lost their dears. They lost the shelter that they are trying to build. I was on my way to Rafah and then back to Khan Younis area. I was seeing the people who were trying to erect the tents on the two sides of the road, people who were just taking any kind of wood and branches of the trees that they can find, any kind of plastic sheets, any kind of wood, to start and do something that can serve them as a shelter.

I am already an IDP now, internally displaced person, because my whole area was asked to leave, and I had to leave my home, my apartment, one apartment that I spent a whole time trying to build for me and for my family. And when we were about to leave, we were wondering what we can we take and what can we leave, because our capacity to take things is very limited. We started prioritizing: medication, number one. Medications, number one, because they are life-saving. And then blankets, sheets, mattresses, whatever we can get, even the water we were carrying with us because of the fact that I told you: Water is a scarce commodity in the Gaza Strip.

People who are now in Rafah are facing a very dramatic situation. They don’t have supplies. They don’t have food. They don’t have water. And they are still struggling for the sake of securing any type of living or life in that area. They have been losing their children, their mothers, their spouses, for the sake of just getting anything that can help them to start fire and to warm some water and to cook something. One-point-eight millions in Gaza now officially IDPs, internally displaced people. And those 1.8 million people are trying to find somewhere place that they can hide, but the heavy bombardment in the last few days and the heavy bombardment throughout the whole conflict left no one safe in Gaza, left no one is safe in Gaza because of the —

AMY GOODMAN: It sounds like we have lost Akram —

AKRAM AL-SATARRI: — large-scale killing resulting from that bombardment, large-scale devastation resulting from that bombardment, and large-scale insecurity resulting from that, as people of Gaza are facing a profound access and security crisis. They have not been able to access anything. And their personal security have been jeopardized by the ongoing devastation and escalation.

AMY GOODMAN: Akram al-Satarri, reporting to us from Gaza. He’s in southern Gaza. He’s standing just outside the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, where he has also, in addition to reporting there, moved his family south. Khan Younis is a place where the Israeli military originally told people in northern Gaza to move to, and now they are bombing Khan Younis, where so many hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have moved, to Khan Younis and further south to Rafah. It’s extremely difficult to make these conditions — to make these connections, and we thank all of those who have helped us. We’re going to turn now to a break. This break are Gazan journalists, Palestinian journalists who have survived the assault so far, though many have lost family members, singing together.

[break]

AMY GOODMAN: “We Will Stay Here Until the Pain Goes Away.” Journalists in Gaza seen sitting together in their press-identified clothing in a viral video singing “We Will Stay Here Until the Pain Goes Away.” More than 60 journalists and media workers have been killed since October 7th, 54 of them Palestinian journalists in Gaza.

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