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360,000 flee Rafah due to Israel strikes: UNRWA

Pressure is mounting on the limited facilities in the central areas of Gaza as Palestinians who had previously fled to Rafah are now once again being displaced by Israel's planned ground offensive into the city. Palestinians say they are unable to find food or water and weak children are being sought out as prey by hungry stray dogs.

May 13, 2024 at 11:08 am

The number of Palestinians who were forced to leave Rafah due to attacks by Israeli forces rose to 360,000, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said today.

“Nearly 360,000 people have fled #Rafah since the first evacuation order a week ago,” UNRWA stated on X.

“Meanwhile, in north #Gaza bombardments & other evacuation orders have created more displacement & fear for thousands of families,” it added.

The agency further underlined: “There’s nowhere to go. There’s NO safety without a #ceasefire.”

Israel has waged an unrelenting offensive on the Gaza Strip since 7 October. More than 35,000 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, mostly women and children, and 78,400 others injured, according to Palestinian health authorities.

Over seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins, forcibly displacing 85 per cent of the enclave’s population amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January said it is “plausible” that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and ordered Tel Aviv to stop such acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

However since then Israel has taken over the Rafah Crossing, through which almost all humanitarian aid was entering Gaza. No aid has been allowed into the Strip since Israel raised its flag over the crossing.

Read: Israel lacks ‘credible plan’ to safeguard Rafah civilians, says Blinken