Gaza: more than 100,000 people have fled Rafah according to the UN

Gaza: more than 100,000 people have fled Rafah according to the UN
Gaza: more than 100,000 people have fled Rafah according to the UN

Some 30,000 people are fleeing “every day” the town of Rafah – threatened by a large-scale assault by the Israeli army – and more than 110,000 have already sought refuge elsewhere in the narrow Palestinian territory, said UN officials on Friday.

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“The recent evacuation order from the Israeli government linked to the military operation in Gaza now affects 110,000 or more people displaced to the north,” said the head of the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for Gaza, Georgios Petropoulos.

“Most of these people have already had to move 5 or 6 times” since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, he said during the regular UN press briefing in Geneva.

“Some 30,000 people flee the city every day,” he said.

According to the UN, some 1.4 million people have gathered in Rafah fleeing the violent fighting and bombings further north.

The Israeli army launched a limited ground operation in the city, according to the UN, closing the crossing between Rafah and Egypt, one of the crucial arrival points for humanitarian aid.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, promised to launch a major assault to eradicate the Islamic movement Hamas in the city.

Without fuel supplies in the coming days, a large number of health facilities are expected to lack the fuel needed to continue operating, the OCHA official said.

This includes five hospitals run by the Hamas Ministry of Health, five field hospitals, 17 primary health care centers run by UNRWA (the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees) and other partners. , 10 mobile clinics that provide vaccination, trauma and malnutrition care services, and 23 medical facilities in Al Mawasi, a seaside town north of Rafah.

According to OCHA, water production in Rafah has been stopped and the facilities are being maintained just enough to prevent them from being permanently lost.

“The main water production in the northern Gaza governorates and Gaza City has been interrupted, leaving 450,000 people with very limited access to drinking water,” OCHA said.

The World Food Program (WFP) and UNRWA will run out of food to distribute in the coming days, OCHA said.

“The main WFP warehouse is inaccessible and no aid has entered Rafah for two days,” the organization said.

Four bakers in Gaza City are still operational with enough fuel and stock to produce bread for about a week, she adds.

As of May 10, of the 12 bakeries supported by humanitarian partners south of Wadi Gaza, eight of them had ceased operations due to lack of fuel and stocks.

“The four which were still operating at reduced capacity in Deir al Balah and Rafah, will also run out of stock and fuel by Monday if the humanitarian situation does not improve,” specifies OCHA.

The war broke out on October 7 when Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza carried out an attack against Israel, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP report based on official data. Israelis.

More than 250 people have been kidnapped and 128 remain captive in Gaza, 36 of whom are considered dead, according to the army.

In response, Israel promised to annihilate Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007, and launched an offensive which has so far left 34,904 dead, according to the Islamist movement’s Ministry of Health.

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