Collecting the dead with nowhere to flee: The reality for those left in Rafah

This video contains distressing images

Footage filmed over several days and sent to ITV News by one of the last journalists to leave Rafah shows how Israeli bombardment has turned the city from a refuge into a terrifying deathtrap for men, women, children and whole families, as ITV News Reporter Chloe Keedy explains

The streets of Rafah are almost completely deserted, but Abdullah keeps driving because he has a job to do.

The siren blasting from his fire engine suggests he is rushing to help the injured, but, all too often these days, he is going to collect the dead.

There is little life left in Rafah now. Outside a makeshift mortuary, people pull up in cars with their boots filled with bodies.

They work together to lift and lower them carefully into plastic body bags. It is up to the living to try and provide whatever dignity they can for the dead.

Whole families lie side by side, separated by sheets of plastic.

"The total number here is 15 from the same family, including many children," a hospital worker explains.

"In just one bag, there is a woman and three kids."

She says they had come to Rafah to try and escape the fighting.

The only survivor is a boy called Hazim. He is comforted by his uncle, who is now the closest family he has.

"He lost his mother, three sisters, nephews and nieces, who were one, two and three years old," his uncle says.

"They are children, unarmed children. They say in West Rafah it's safe but there is no safe place here."

This city was meant to be Gaza's last refuge, but it's now a frontline in Israel's war. Rafah's once bustling city centre now stands completely abandoned.

Hazim (pictured) was the only member of his family to survive an Israeli missile strike in Rafah. Credit: ITV News

Standing alone in the square, Khalid Hamid scarcely recognises the place he calls home.

"I swear to god Rafah is very sad, there is nothing left here," he says.

"We are suffocating now, we can't breathe. We've had fire dropped on us. artillery dropped on us. It's genocide. Where shall we go?" He asks. "To the sea?"

Families that have made it to other cities are now faced, once again, with trying to set up their lives in whatever bombed or burnt out buildings they can find.

In Khan Yunis, some families have moved into what's left of a school. But all that children are learning there is how to grow up far too fast.

In Rafah, it's not yet clear what, if anything, they will have to come back to.

Outside the mortuary, a man sobs in silence as it gets harder and harder for anyone here to find any adequate words.

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