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Israel-Hamas war rages as humanitarian crisis spirals in Gaza: Live updates

2:12 p.m. ET, November 21, 2023

Satellite data indicates up to 50% of buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged in 6 weeks of war   

Up to 50% of the buildings in northern Gaza and Gaza governorates have been damaged since October 7 in the Israel-Hamas war, according to an analysis of radar satellite data, called SAR, carried out by researchers at the City University of New York Graduate Center and Oregon State University.  

Here’s what researchers found about different regions in Gaza from October 7 to November 18:

  • At least 20% of buildings in the entire Gaza Strip were likely damaged.
  • About 18,300 to 23,500 buildings are likely to have been damaged in northern Gaza, equating to 40% to 51% of the governorate’s buildings.  
  • In the Gaza governorate, which is home to the enclave’s capital, Gaza City, 24,600 to 31,300 buildings are likely to have been damaged by fighting, equating to 40% to 50% of the buildings there.

Researchers also told CNN that since November 10, there has been a marked increase in the damage to buildings in the governorates of Khan Younis and Deir al Balah, where Israel has repeatedly told civilians from the north to flee to.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said last week that the country’s forces were in control of northern Gaza.  

The Israel Defense Forces have dropped leaflets on parts of southern Gaza, warning communities east of Khan Younis to “head towards known shelters,” indicating a potential expansion of the Israeli ground offensive south. 

About the satellite data: A synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery is unlike normal satellite imagery. It is created by transmitting radar beams that are able to pass through clouds. The beams bounce off objects on the ground and echo back to the satellite; what they bounce off of is then mapped out by the satellite and the SAR image is created.   

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