Home News Some 300,000 Gazans flee Rafah, UN says

Some 300,000 Gazans flee Rafah, UN says


The U.N.’s main aid agency for Palestinians in Gaza said earlier on Sunday that about 300,000 people have fled Rafah, the enclave’s southernmost city, in the past week, and more than 1 million Gazans have been displaced elsewhere over the past seven years. Seeking refuge from Israeli bombing. months.

United Nations agency, known as UNRWA, announced the news on social media Hours after the Israeli government issued new evacuation orders for Rafah and elsewhere in Gaza, it deepened fears that Israeli forces were preparing to invade the city despite international warnings.

The World Food Program echoed those warnings on Sunday, expressing concern about civilian displacement and saying a full-scale invasion of Rafah would be “catastrophic.”

“Families are on the move again, looking for shelter, food, water, but with fewer resources,” it wrote on social media.

Partelthe largest telecommunications company in the Gaza Strip, say on sunday Internet service has been disrupted in parts of southern Gaza due to Israeli military operations, and staff are working to restore service “as quickly as possible.”

Doctors Without Borders is an aid organization whose staff have been working in Gaza during the war, say on social media It has started referring the last 22 patients at Indonesia’s Rafah field hospital to other facilities because it “can no longer guarantee their safety”.

Gaza’s health care system in a state of near collapseOne of the three main hospitals in Rafah that was partially functioning before the Israeli military’s operation in Rafah this month has been closed.

Intense bombing and fighting have taken place around Rafah since Israel took control of the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing with Egypt on Monday, mainly Stop the flow of aid. Dozens of people have been killed in Israeli attacks on Rafah since then, local health officials said.

Israeli warplanes dropped leaflets in and over parts of Rafah part of northern gaza On Saturday, people were ordered to flee. The warning about Rafah adds to existing evacuation orders there.

The Israeli military has asked Gazans in Rafah to temporarily evacuate to the “Mawasi expanded humanitarian zone,” a coastal area to the north of the city that UN and international officials have stressed is neither safe nor capable of receiving them.

The EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell Fontelles, said: “Forced evacuation of civilians from Rafah to unsafe areas is intolerable.” wrote on social media platform X on Saturday night. He urged Israel not to continue its ground offensive against Rafah, saying it would “further exacerbate an already dire humanitarian crisis.”

Israel described this month’s incursion east of Rafah as a “precision operation” targeting Hamas, the armed group that led the October 7 attack on southern Israel. Some countries and international aid groups have condemned the prospect of a full-scale invasion in Rafah, saying it would be catastrophic for civilians.

President Biden Suspension of arms shipments He warned that the United States would withhold certain weapons, including heavy bombs and artillery shells, if Israel went ahead with the operation, fearing they could be used in a major attack on Rafah.

Matthew M’Poke Biggar Contributed reporting.

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