Home News Aid groups in Rafah say Israel’s advance is forcing them to evacuate

Aid groups in Rafah say Israel’s advance is forcing them to evacuate


Aid workers say Israel’s offensive on the southern city of Rafah has stretched medical and humanitarian services to the limit, with only one hospital still functioning and some aid operations forced to be relocated elsewhere in the Gaza Strip.

Ongoing clashes and attacks have killed dozens of civilians and closed emergency clinics and other services, further exacerbating the city’s healthcare crisis.

On Sunday, an Israeli-claimed attack on a Hamas compound set fire to a camp for displaced persons in Rafah, killing 45 people, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. Another attack on Tuesday in Al-Mawasi, a suburb of Rafah, killed 21 people and wounded dozens, the health ministry said.

The aid operations closed this week include a field hospital run by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, a clinic supported by Doctors Without Borders, and World Central Kitchen.

“As Israel’s assault on Rafah intensifies, the unpredictable trickle of aid into Gaza creates an illusion of improved access when in reality the humanitarian response is on the verge of collapse,” 19 aid groups said in a statement. Joint Statement Tuesday.

Some of the forced transfers took place in Al-Mawasi, where many civilians and aid workers have gone because Israel has designated part of the area as a humanitarian safe zone. The Israeli military said after Tuesday’s attack that it did not fire into the area. Video footage verified by The New York Times showed the attack taking place near the area but not into it.

Aid workers have noted that it is difficult for people in Gaza to determine whether they are in designated safe areas because many do not have access to mobile phones or the internet.

“Civilians are being massacred. They are being driven into areas they were told were safe, only to be subjected to relentless airstrikes and intense fighting,” Chris Lockyer, secretary general of Doctors Without Borders, said in a statement. statement.

Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesman for the Gaza Health Ministry, called for safe routes for evacuees, more aid crossings and more field hospitals in Rafah.

“There is no medical capacity to respond to the massacres that have occurred in Rafah and northern Gaza,” he said.

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