Israel-Palestine Conflict: For years, Israel’s Yossi Landau has been involved in the grim task of gathering bodies in Israel, but the recent retrieval of casualties from the deadliest attack by Gaza militants pushed him to the brink. Landau, accustomed to the sound of sirens as Israelis sought refuge from rocket attacks, was jolted awake by them on Saturday.
Horrifying scenes at locations
It was only later that he realized that the rocket launches were a diversionary tactic, with the primary focus being the invasion carried out by Hamas militants. They had crossed into Gaza and were responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1,200 people. Yossi Landau, residing in Ashdod, a coastal city north of Gaza, vividly remembered the horrifying sight as he hurried to the location.
With 33 years of volunteering experience for Zaka, an organization dedicated to retrieving the bodies of individuals who have met unnatural deaths, Yossi Landau had thought he’d seen it all. However, as fierce gunfights unfolded between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces, he bore witness to a level of violence previously unimaginable.
He said, “I saw cars turned over, I saw people on the street dead.” Continuing further, he said, “A piece of road that should’ve taken 15 minutes, it took us 11 hours because we went and picked up everyone, put them in a bag.”
Israeli man recalls his terrifying experience
The southern Israeli landscape remained strewn with abandoned cars, either set ablaze or marked with bullet holes. Yossi Landau and his fellow volunteers, having already loaded numerous bodies onto refrigerated trucks, arrived at Beeri, a kibbutz located roughly five kilometers from Gaza and home to approximately 1,200 people.
He further stated, “I felt that I’m falling apart, not only me, my whole crew, Her stomach was ripped open, a baby was there, still connected with the cord, and stabbed.” Yossi Landau, the Zaka volunteer, recounted witnessing several civilians, including approximately 20 children, who had their hands bound behind their backs before being shot and set on fire.