JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells.
Nearly 1 million Palestinians have fled the north, including its urban center, Gaza City, as ground combat intensified. When the war ends, any relief will quickly be overshadowed by dread as displaced families come to terms with the scale of the calamity and what it means for their future.
Where would they live? Who would eventually run Gaza and pick up the pieces?
“I want to go home even if I have to sleep on the rubble of my house,” said Yousef Hammash, an aid worker with the Norwegian Refugee Council who fled the ruins of the urban refugee camp of Jabaliya for southern Gaza. “But I don't see a future for my children here.”
The Israeli army's use of powerful explosives in tightly packed residential areas — which Israel describes as the unavoidable outcome of Hamas using civilian sites as cover for its operations — has killed over 13,000 Palestinians and led to staggering destruction. Hamas denies the claim and accuses Israel of recklessly bombing civilians.
“When I left, I couldn't tell which street or intersection I was passing,” said Mahmoud Jamal, a 31-year-old taxi driver who fled his…