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90% of Palestinian residents have been displaced in Gaza, says UN

July 4, 2024 at 3:57 pm

Palestinians start to migrate with their belongings they could take after the Israeli army has ordered Palestinians living in eastern areas to immediately leave ahead of a possible new ground assault in Khan Yunis, Gaza on July 2, 2024. [Ashraf Amra – Anadolu Agency]

The war in Gaza has resulted in the displacement of almost 90 per cent of the enclave’s Palestinian residents, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA. The head of the agency in the occupied Palestinian territories, Andrea De Domenico, reported yesterday that around 1.9 million people are currently displaced in Gaza.

“We estimate that nine in every 10 people in the Gaza Strip have been internally displaced at least once, if not up to 10 times, unfortunately, since October,” said De Domenico. “Initially, we estimated 1.7 million, but recent operations in Rafah and additional displacements from Rafah have increased this number.”

The UN official voiced further concern about new Israeli evacuation orders targeting the Khan Yunis area, impacting nearly 250,000 Palestinians. He highlighted the fear among the population, citing testimonies from individuals who have been forced to relocate more than eight times since 7 October last year.

READ: Red Cross evacuates medical team, patients from Khan Yunis hospital

“Behind these numbers, there are people who have fears and grievances,” he said. “And they probably had dreams and hopes; the less and less, I fear today, unfortunately. People who in the last nine months have been moved around like pawns in a board game.”

He noted that Israel’s military operations have effectively split the Gaza Strip in two, with OCHA estimating that 300,000-350,000 Palestinians remain in the north and are unable to move to the south.

Moreover, he added that since the war in Gaza began on 7 October, an estimated 110,000 people managed to leave Gaza before the Rafah crossing into Egypt was closed in early May. Some have remained in Egypt, while others have moved on to different locations.

Flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire, Israel has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since the 7 October cross-border incursion by Palestinian resistance movement Hamas. In nearly nine months of Israel’s offensive against the Palestinians in Gaza, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine. Almost all civilian infrastructure has been destroyed by Israel, including hospitals, schools and universities.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its military operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on 6 May.

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