Creating new perspectives since 2009

UNRWA chief says claim of safe zones in Gaza 'false and misleading'

May 12, 2024 at 12:03 pm

Palestinians living in different areas of Rafah, where Israeli attacks are intense, continue to migrate to Deir al-Balah, Gaza on May 11, 2024. [Ashraf Amra – Anadolu Agency]

Commissioner-general of the UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) on Sunday expressed concern over the persistent displacement of Palestinians from their homes, suggesting there are no safe zones in Gaza, Anadolu Agency reports.

“The Israeli authorities continue to issue forced displacement orders also known as ‘evacuation orders’. This is forcing people in Rafah to flee anywhere and everywhere,” Philippe Lazzarini said on X.

He said that since war began last October, most people in Gaza have moved multiple times, and “desperately sought safety that they never found.”

“The claim of “safe zones” is false and misleading. No place is safe in Gaza. Period,” he added.

The UN agency has estimated that at least 150,000 people have fled Rafah since Monday, when Israel ordered residents be evacuated and went ahead with an operation despite international concerns.

Israel has killed nearly 35,000 Palestinians in Gaza, in retaliation for an Oct. 7 cross-border incursion by Hamas which killed around 1,200 lives. About 85% of the enclave’s 2.3 million is internally displaced, and there are widespread shortages of food, water and medicine.

READ: UN agency says 150,000 Palestinians have fled Rafah