Home News UN says tens of thousands have fled Rafah since Monday

UN says tens of thousands have fled Rafah since Monday


Tens of thousands of people have fled since Israel launched its appeal this week Evacuation of parts of the southern Gaza city of RafahThe United Nations said on Thursday that as Israeli air strikes intensify, concerns are growing that incursions by Israeli ground troops into border crossings could lead to a full-scale invasion.

The mass exodus from the east of the city is just the latest in a major gathering of displaced people on Gaza’s border with Egypt. people are forced Fleeing since Israeli launch The war to dismantle HamasOn October 7, the armed group led a deadly attack on Israel.

Louis Watridge, a spokesman for UNRWA, the main U.N. agency aiding the Palestinians, said Thursday that nearly 79,000 people are estimated to have left the city since Monday. She posted a video on social media of a minivan loaded with mattresses driving slowly down a street lined with tents.

“Extreme fear of severe bombing Rafa stay overnight and continue throughout the morning,” Ms. Wateridge wrotestating that “those who stayed to fetch water” were “surviving.”

Rafah’s population has swelled to more than one million in recent months as people have fled south. Hundreds of thousands are living in tents or makeshift shelters. Residents and aid workers have described dire conditions and severe shortages of food, clean water and medical supplies.

Israel on Monday began what it called a limited operation to secure the Gaza side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt and destroy Hamas positions, a day after a rocket attack in another area killed four Israeli soldiers. Israeli authorities warned about 110,000 people to flee Rafah, calling on them to head to the humanitarian zone on the Gaza coast, where they said they could get food, medicine and other basic supplies.

Many aid workers believe that the area, including the villages almavasiAlready overcrowded with people living in tents, there is no way to accommodate the influx of more people, especially since water and sanitation facilities are inadequate.

Many aid agencies are based in Rafah, and some said on Wednesday their operations were threatened by the close proximity of the fighting and Israel’s closure of aid centers this week. two southern border crossingswhich is the main channel for humanitarian supplies.

Israel said on Wednesday it had reopened one of its crossings, the Kerem Shalom crossing that had been closed over the weekend, but the United Nations said it remained very difficult for aid to cross.

Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the U.N. humanitarian office in Geneva, described Rafah as a “highly active war zone” and said this was a threat not only to shipments through Kerem Shalom but also to those trying to Moving goods through the southern region presents “serious challenges”. Gaza and further into the enclave.

“We reiterate that the parties’ obligation to provide assistance is not limited to borders or evacuation zones,” he said. “Assistance must reach safely to those who need it.”

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