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Gaza: The landscape is changing forever

Gaza: The landscape is changing forever

long beaches, Restaurants and the Mediterranean lifestyle were life inside Gaza.

Because even before October 7, Gaza was characterized by extreme poverty, unemployment, poorly functioning infrastructure and a life of uncertainty, and there was also much more than that.

Near the port in Gaza City it was often a place where residents gathered on weekends to relax, as has been the case here since 2019.

Photo: Keri Lynn

Photo: Keri Lynn

All over Gaza Buildings and homes were destroyed in Israeli bomb attacks.

When VG flew over Gaza at the end of March, we could observe how Israel was creating new roads and infrastructure.

The result is that the landscape is changed forever.

– It goes far beyond what can be justified militarily, by launching widespread and targeted attacks on civilian infrastructure and humanitarian institutions.

This is what Middle East researcher Jürgen Genshaugen told VG.

– This war, for example, is unique in the number of journalists and UN employees killed.

In central Gaza, Israel has now established new roads between Israel and the Mediterranean.

In practice, Gaza has been divided into two parts, as new Planet Labs satellite images released recently show. VG also noticed this from the air.

Before/after photos can be seen in the images below:

Source: Satellite images from Planet. Retrieved on 9 March 2024 and 15 October 2023

Gaza is a little bigger From the municipality of Hamar, which is one of the most densely populated places in the world.

About 2.3 million people lived there before the war. UN figures show that 1.7 million people have now been forced to flee their homes.

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The coastal enclave lives under a strict Israeli siege and relies entirely on emergency aid even before the war on October 7.

Photo: Keri Lynn

Photo: Keri Lynn

In the city war Is it the defender who is at home.

The concrete buildings and tunnels have given Hamas and other Palestinian factions a significant advantage in defending Gaza.

But the Israeli army has superior military strength, surveillance, and personnel.

Gunnar Gabrielsen
<-Gunnar Gabrielsen


– The whole city It's like a basement. Every time the Israeli army is fired upon, it must completely destroy the building from which it is being fired.

This is the only way to be able to kill an opponent, Gunnar Gabrielsen tells VG.

It is believed that Israel will not gain much from deliberately destroying buildings to destroy them, because that will make it more difficult for it militarily.

– There will be additional chaos, it will be more difficult for them to find the tunnel openings below, and the scene will be more chaotic.

Maxar Technologies/Reuters
Maxar Technologies/Reuters
Planet Laboratories
Planet Laboratories

Khan Yunis is
The second largest
A city in Gaza.

In northern Gaza
That's how it seemed
VG camera.

This was it
the biggest
the hospital
in Gaza.

– attack Gabrielsen says the city is almost completely impossible to do without destroying everything.

But the consequences of the Israeli war are wide-ranging.

The population is on the brink of starvation, and more than 30,000 people have been killed, most of them women and children.

Nearly half of Gaza's population is under 18 years of age.

Zoo in 2019. Photo: Keri Lynn

Hammam in 2019. Photography: Keri Lynn

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– In any military attack, roads, or so-called axes, will be built, which must be as safe as possible, says Gabrielsen.

Defense positions are built around these locations, so you have a complete overview of the surrounding landscape.

Typically, the attacking party will attempt to clear and clear the war zone. But it is difficult for Israel.

– The entire sector is an active war zone. You can see how the IDF constantly has to clear areas it has previously cleared of Hamas. This creates a very intense combat environment, and Israel then builds defensive positions where they can rest and prepare for new combat operations.

Satellite images show exactly that:

Planet Laboratories
Planet Laboratories

In central Gaza there was agriculture
And home.

And now Israel has penetrated that
Pass through
area, and established
Military bases.

The result of the war It also causes hunger to spread more widely.

Prices are extremely high for what little food there is in Gaza, and according to the United Nations, fewer people can afford more than one meal a day.

Many remain without food for days, and Palestinian children die of hunger.

According to the United Nations, Israel refuses to allow enough emergency aid in, and the United States and several other countries have begun airdrops, a highly controversial method of distributing emergency aid.

Before the war, most of Gaza's food came from its agricultural areas and the sea.

Market in 2019. Photography: Keri Lien

The harbor in 2019. Photography: Keri Lynn

Now there are many Of these agricultural areas were completely destroyed.

Olive groves, orange plantations and banana palms have disappeared, as these January 15 satellite images show.

Planet Laboratories
Planet Laboratories

In the north it is
Agricultural areas
Level with the ground.

And now it is
Israeli military bases.

This is the population most detained under the worst bombing in modern history, said Jan Egeland of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

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Large numbers of residents fled southern Gaza towards Rafah.

They set up tents there, but at the same time the Israeli army announced that it would carry out a ground operation in the area.

Planet Laboratories
Planet Laboratories

There are people
She took refuge, but the circumstances…

– We are entering Rafah. We will complete the elimination of Hamas and its brigades. We will restore security and ensure the victory of the Israeli people and the Israeli state,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, according to NTB.

But international leaders and human rights organizations expressed strong criticism against it.

– The head of Doctors Without Borders in the United States, Avril Benoit, recently stated that the military attack there will turn the area into a cemetery.

A Palestinian wounded on March 15 in Gaza. Photo: AFP/NTB