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80,000 displaced from Rafah as Israeli bombardment intensifies: UN

80,000 displaced from Rafah as Israeli bombardment intensifies: UN
9 May 2024 23:41


Approximately 80,000 people left Rafah since Monday as Israeli bombardment intensifies, with nearly half of those fleeing on Wednesday alone, UNRWA reported on Thursday. Many are desperately seeking refuge, transporting their belongings via any means available, including vehicles, trucks, motorbikes, and donkey carts.

Most of the displaced individuals in Rafah had already been uprooted from other parts of Gaza due to previous Israeli military orders, and now, they find themselves displaced again.

"Since Israeli Forces military operation intensified on May 6, around 80,000 people have fled Rafah, seeking refuge elsewhere. The toll on these families is unbearable. Nowhere is safe," the UN agency said in a post on X.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) noted in a recent website update that "the situation remains extremely fluid and we continue to confront a range of challenges, amid active hostilities", as Rafah has been struggling with fuel supplies due to closed border crossings and limited humanitarian assistance.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organisation reported that Rafah's three remaining hospitals will run out of fuel in three days, with shortages already forcing one of three remaining hospitals in the city of Rafah to shut down.

"There are no words to describe how bad this situation is going to be without fuel," warned Louise Wateridge, UNRWA spokesperson, in a recent interview with BBC.

In northern Gaza, humanitarian efforts face additional obstacles. OCHA disclosed that more than a quarter of aid missions in April were hindered by Israeli authorities, with 10% outright denied. Meanwhile, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) managed to reach Beit Hanoun, which had been cut off for months, signalling a critical step towards addressing the starvation that has taken hold in the area.

"After months of restricted access to northern Gaza, WFP reached Beit Hanoun, to set up storage space for aid," the agency said in a post on X.

The conflict has not only impacted Gaza but also escalated violence in the West Bank, according to the UN rights office (OHCHR). Ajith Sunghay, head of the OHCHR office in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, highlighted the severity of the situation, noting that the Israel Defence Forces are operating as if there is an armed conflict in the region, UN News reported.

Source: Aletihad - Abu Dhabi
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