Please take caution when watching this video. The footage is extremely distressing.
On July 20, Israel launched an offensive against the Gaza City neighborhood of Shuja’iyya, claiming it to be a stronghold for Palestinian armed resistance factions. More than 70 Palestinians were killed in the first day of the operation. Previously uncovered footage shows the aftermath of the assault which includes young children charred and strewn about throughout the streets. Many family members are seen wailing beside the bodies of their loved ones.
This footage shows the intensity of the shelling as it happened. It is unclear how many of the people seen in the footage made it out alive. We urge you to take caution when viewing this footage. The sights and sounds are extremely distressing.
In the opening seconds of the footage, a shell strikes a building somewhere behind the camera operator. The cameraman turns his back away from the blast to shield himself. A second blast is heard seconds later amid loud screams and long wails, followed by a third blast which pelts the area with debris and shell fragments.
Within twenty-eight seconds, three shells have hit the Shuja’iyya neighborhood. The scene is chaotic. An ambulance is parked outside of the targeted building. People are banging on the door, trying to gain access to the victims.
About twenty seconds later, the fourth and fifth shells hit their marks almost simultaneously.
A sixth shells hits the neighborhood. A woman looks up and repeatedly recites her faith in God.
The air is hazy. Two men and at least three women try to quickly clear the scene with their heads bowed, scurrying along a wall at the edge of the street. Blast number seven rattles them.
An ambulance speeds away. The cameraman runs back to the parked ambulance, urging others to get in them and to flee. An eighth blast almost knocks him off balance. People are running in the streets. Only ninety seconds have passed since the first blast.
Medics are sprinting with their heads low searching for victims. The tenth blast is loud.
Blast number eleven is introduced by sporadic gunfire. More rounds are fired. The cameraman is sprinting away from the parked ambulance now.
Someone is screaming in agony. The cameraman urges a group of women to take cover in the open doorway of a house down the street from the initial blast. There is no light; the screen is dark. Children are heard yelling after the twelve shell crashes down.
A man can be heard reassuring his family that he is there, that he is there, that ‘I am here’. This is abruptly interrupted by the thirteenth shell.
The screen is still dark. Someone is calling for an ambulance.
Blast number fourteen. Where is the doctor, someone asks frantically.
Fifteen and sixteen come two seconds apart. The sound of debris lasts for three.
After a short lull, the seventeenth shell reminds the Shuja’iyya neighborhood that they are under attack. Again, debris. The shelling is getting closer.
Two more shells crash almost simultaneously. There is a brief moment of quiet. A loved one had been evacuated in an ambulance minutes ago, someone learns.
The twentieth blast is followed by the twenty-first and the twenty-second. The video fades out.
In just over four minutes, these families — children, women, and men of all ages — were hit with twenty-two indiscriminately launched shells. They run for their lives but they have nowhere to go.