Thousands of Palestinians attempt to return home to northern Gaza, but face Israeli fire

Apr 14, 2024, 2:59 PM

Palestinians displaced by Israel's military offensive head toward north Gaza in an attempt to retur...

Palestinians displaced by Israel's military offensive head toward north Gaza in an attempt to return to their homes on Sunday, April 14. (Ramadan Abed/Reuters via CNN Newsource)

(Ramadan Abed/Reuters via CNN Newsource)

Originally Published: 14 APR 24 16:03 ET

(CNN) — Thousands of Palestinians, including men, women, children and elderly, attempted to return to their homes in northern Gaza on Sunday when they came under Israeli fire.

Video filmed by a CNN stringer shows the once-perilous coastal road of Al Rasheed filled with families walking with their belongings, some riding bicycles, donkey carts and pick-up trucks, smiling and snapping photographs.

“I’m going to Gaza City. It’s enough. We need to go back to our homes and lands. We are tired of displacement… we heard people saying we can go back, but no one official told us. We’ll leave it to God,” Majd El-Aqqad said.

Videos began circulating online Sunday morning showing people heading to the north for the first time in such large numbers. Some people told CNN they heard the Israeli military was allowing women and children to move back up. Others said their relatives were allowed to cross over.

In response to a question from CNN, the IDF said the reports were false.

“The northern Gaza Strip continues to be an active war zone and return to the area is not currently permitted,” IDF said.

In the video shot for CNN, an elderly woman named Um Mohammad walks along the road carrying a heavy bag on her head and two others in her arms, attempting to reach her home.

She cries and prays for God to protect them.

“I don’t know anything about my house. It’s our home and our land. The Israelis displaced us and humiliated us,” she said.

“We are tired here. We have been displaced for 191 days,” Malak Abu Nada, a woman from Jabalya, told CNN.

Many of the people who attempted to head north had been displaced to Rafah, where Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been threatening to launch an offensive that the UN said would lead to a “humanitarian catastrophe.”

The Gaza Ministry of Health reported on Sunday that the toll in the Gaza Strip since October 7 has risen to 33,729 dead and 76,371 people injured.

CNN cannot independently verify these numbers.

A young boy named Omar Al-Dahdouh carried a bag of flour on his shoulder, holding his younger sibling’s hand and sobbing as he walked.

“I am going home. I have been displaced for six months. We live in a tent because our house was struck,” he said.

“I am not afraid. If I must die, I will die, but I don’t want to live this anymore. I want to go home, I’m tired. My siblings need to live,” he continued.

Ahmad Ramadan told CNN he had tried to cross to the north but was turned back by Israeli soldiers because he was a man.

“We heard the road was open to Gaza City, so we thought we’d go. When they saw men with us, they started shooting at us. We are tired and humiliated,” Um Awni Al-Jarousha told CNN.

Footage shows people turning around, heading back south with the sound of drones and planes buzzing overhead. Missiles can be seen in the distance while people run in panic.

“We reached all the way to the checkpoint until we saw Israeli tanks. We headed back because they fired towards us. We didn’t see anyone make it to the other side. We risked our children’s lives to cross, but apparently it was all a lie,” one woman said.

Video shows several people with what appear to be gunshot wounds. One man is seen carrying another man who has blood streaming along his face from a head injury.

Another man is seen carrying a 5-year-old girl named Sally Abu Laila, who is bleeding from her head and surrounded by people trying to help.

Her mother Sabreen told CNN her daughter was in her arms when Israeli soldiers shot at her. They had attempted to cross into the north with Sabreen’s husband, but the soldiers turned him back, leaving her and her four children to face the journey alone.

The moment she tried to pass through, two young men squeezed in between her and other women waiting in line at the checkpoint. That’s when Israeli soldiers fired at them, she said.

Chaos then ensued, with Sabreen describing people trampling over each other as they tried to escape the gunshots.

“I tried to put my daughter on the ground to walk, but she couldn’t move. I saw my hands covered in blood. I called on her, ‘Sally! Sally! Sally!’, but she didn’t answer… I didn’t know my daughter was injured… she is my only girl, and my heart broke,” Sabreen told CNN.

Eventually, she said, she managed to get to Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital, where her daughter is undergoing treatment. She told CNN she is still in intensive care.

Graphic footage shot for CNN shows Sally crying out in pain, blood on her body with a wound on her head and arm as she gets treated by two doctors.

CNN has reached out to the IDF for comment on reports that its soldiers fired shots at civilians trying to head up north, but has not received a response.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Related: PHOTOS: Free Palestine demonstration closes Park City Main St.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Israel + Hamas

Thirteen-year-old Ayham Musalm, center, is receiving treatment for a fractured leg and glass shrapn...

Aditi Sangal, CNN

Injured youth from Gaza find care in the US, face uncertain future

At least 1,000 children in Gaza have had one or both legs amputated, UNICEF reported in December. That number has since grown.

16 days ago

President Joe Biden speaks with CNN’s Erin Burnett during an exclusive interview Wednesday, May 8...

Jack Forrest, Andrew Millman and Avery Lotz, CNN

Biden faces bipartisan backlash over Israel ultimatum

Biden is facing backlash from lawmakers over his Israel ultimatum that would result in a shut-off of some US weapons.

17 days ago

President Joe Biden arrives at Chicago O'Hare International Airport to attend a political fundraise...


Biden says US won’t supply weapons for Israel to attack Rafah

Biden said the U.S. was still committed to Israel's defense, but that if Israel goes into Rafah, "we're not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells used."

21 days ago

Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike east of Rafah, Gaza Strip, Monday, May 6, 2024. (AP Phot...


US pauses bomb shipment to Israel over Rafah invasion concern

The Biden administration paused a bomb shipmant to Israel over concerns that the country might launch full-scale assault on the city of Rafah.

21 days ago

The protests grew after an encampment on the campus of Columbia University in New York City led to ...

Alex Leeds Matthews, Krystina Shveda, Amy O'Kruk and Renée Rigdon, CNN

Map: Where university protesters have been arrested

As pro-Palestinian protests have erupted on college campuses nationwide, protesters continue to be arrested.

23 days ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the Conference of Presidents of Major American ...

Michael Schwartz, Tim Lister and Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN

Israel closes Al Jazeera news network in the country

Israel has ordered the closure of Al Jazeera in the country, a move the Qatar-based news network called a “criminal act.”

24 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Thousands of Palestinians attempt to return home to northern Gaza, but face Israeli fire