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UNRWA says 137,000 displaced Palestinians seek refuge in Gaza schools 

October 10, 2023 at 1:15 pm

Palestinian families take shelter at schools affiliated with United Nations (UN) due to Israeli bombardments in Gaza City, Gaza on October 08, 2023 [Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency]

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) announced on Monday evening that more than 137,000 people in Gaza have taken refuge in 83 of its schools in the enclave. Numbers are increasing as Israeli air strikes continue.

Mass displacement increased rapidly overnight, with almost 200,000 Palestinians having to leave their homes, although not all are seeking shelter in Gaza’s schools.

“About 3,000 Palestinians in Gaza are still displaced following previous escalations,” said UNRWA. “Moreover, half a million people have stopped receiving vital food aid as we were forced to close all 14 food distribution centres.”

The agency has pointed out that as air strikes continue, more and more internally displaced people are seeking shelter in UNRWA-run schools in Gaza. “Every effort is being made to provide basic services to the IDPS. However, the conditions are difficult, with some shelters overcrowded, and with limited availability of potable water.” Not all of the 83 schools in use are designated emergency shelters, and hence are not prepared to received IDPs, it added.

UNRWA’s Gaza Field Office suffered collateral damage due to air strikes in the Rimal area of Gaza City. In total, 18 UNRWA installations have been affected since 7 October.

READ: Israeli warplanes pound Gaza’s virant Rimal neighbourhood