Sat. May 18th, 2024

Yossi Landau, a volunteer for the Zaka organization in Israel, has spent years collecting the bodies of those killed in various incidents. However, the recent assault by Gaza militants almost pushed him to his limit. As sirens blared in the background, signaling incoming rocket fire, Landau woke up expecting the usual routine. Little did he know that this time, the rockets were just a cover-up for a full-scale invasion by Hamas militants, resulting in an estimated 1,200 deaths.

Living in Ashdod, a city near Gaza, Landau rushed to the scene to witness the aftermath. Streets were littered with overturned cars and lifeless bodies. This was unlike anything he had previously encountered during his 33 years with Zaka. “A journey that should have taken 15 minutes took us 11 hours because we were busy collecting and bagging the bodies,” Landau shared.

Abandoned and burned-out cars now dot the landscape of southern Israel, serving as a grim reminder of the violence that unfolded. Despite already loading dozens of corpses onto refrigerated trucks, Landau and his fellow volunteers were shaken to their core when they reached Beeri, a nearby kibbutz. In the first home they entered, they discovered a dead woman with her stomach ripped open, and beside her, a baby still connected by the umbilical cord, stabbed to death.

In addition to these brutal scenes, Landau also witnessed the bodies of multiple civilians, including around 20 children, who had been tied up, shot, and burned. Some victims showed signs of sexual abuse, further intensifying the horror of the situation.

One of the deadliest sites was the Supernova music festival, where around 270 people lost their lives. Although the bodies have been removed, their belongings remain scattered on the ground, while soldiers patrol the area. Blood stains mar the interior of a nearby car, juxtaposed against a hiking route sign through the forest.

Despite Israel claiming control over the border area, the military still reports ongoing clashes with remaining militants. On Thursday, soldiers killed a terrorist a few kilometers away from the festival grounds, following distant gunfire.

In response to the Hamas assault, Israel has unleashed an onslaught of 6,000 bombs on Gaza, resulting in the deaths of 1,417 Palestinians, as reported by health officials in the territory. Confronted with such immense violence, Landau admitted to feeling numb. “We just take our feelings, our job, and we separate them. That’s what we have to do,” he explained.

Please note that the above article has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.

By admin