Thousands forced to flee as Israeli offensive intensifies in Rafah

Thousands forced to flee as Israeli offensive intensifies in Rafah Photo by timyee

110,000 people forced to flee after Rafah siege as humanitarian aid cut off

As reported by UN News, forced displacement continues after the military operation in Rafah, Gaza's southernmost city, by the Israeli army last Monday. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) estimates that some 110,000 people have fled the besieged city in search of greater safety during the continued Israeli bombardment

A steady flow of people who have left the east of the city by all available means, loaded with their belongings, in response to evacuation orders from the Israeli army is being monitoredMost of the evacuees seek shelter in Khan Younis and Deir Al-Balah, but these areas lack the basic services needed to support civilians in need of food, shelter and healthcare.

The attack and closure of the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings in southern Gaza, the main entry points for food, water, fuel and medical supplies, caused a disruption of humanitarian aid.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary General António Guterres strongly condemned an attack by the Israelis on an UNRWA facility in Jerusalem. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) reported that its main warehouse in Gaza is now inaccessible, while WHO, responsible for fuel deliveries to all Gaza hospitals, has had to suspend missions in the north so that facilities in the south can remain open and operational.

As the Rafah offensive intensifies, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is calling for an immediate and prolonged ceasefire to stop further death and destruction. The closure of the crossing has had a devastating impact on the humanitarian response for people trapped in the conflict zone. 
MSF is also calling for the protection of civilians and the reopening of the border crossing to allow the flow of aid to continue as the already difficult living conditions of people in Gaza worsen. The situation in Palestine is in danger of further descending into a huge humanitarian disaster.

According to UNDOP, as the war enters its seventh month, the poverty rate in the State of Palestine continues to rise, reaching 58.4%, pushing nearly 1.74 million more people into poverty. These new figures warn that the suffering in Gaza will not end as the fighting stops. The unprecedented levels of human casualties and destruction, and the sharp increase in poverty in such a short period of time will lead the country into a severe development crisis that threatens the future for generations to come.

The United Nations calls for a halt to any hostilities that impact on the entry and distribution of vital humanitarian aid, and calls on all warring parties to lay down their arms immediately to ensure that the passage of civilians, goods, and necessary aid reaches the people of Gaza without delay and without risk. 



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