Nowhere Else to Go – Rafah Refugees Call on the World to Intervene

Scenes from a displacement camp in Rafah, southern Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

The Palestine Chronicle spoke to a few of the more than 1.4 million people who are currently sheltering in Rafah.

Despite international warnings against a full-scale invasion of Rafah, Israel launched a military operation on Monday in the eastern area of Gaza’s southernmost city.

According to eyewitnesses, Israeli forces dropped leaflets ordering people to leave the southern Gaza city.

The Israeli army said in a statement that an estimated 100,000 people were being asked to abide by a “temporary” evacuation of eastern Rafah.

The Palestine Chronicle spoke to a few of the more than 1.4 million people who are currently sheltering in the city after they were displaced there from other areas of the war-torn Strip.

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Dropping Leaflets 

“Several months ago, we fled from the Shati (Beach) refugee camp, in Gaza City, to Nuseirat, in central Gaza. Then we moved to Khan Yunis and eventually settled in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip,” Renim Abu Asad told The Palestine Chronicle.

“We tried to flee from Israeli shelling, but the shelling followed us everywhere we went. Today, the occupation dropped leaflets warning us that the army was invading certain areas of Rafah. We don’t know where to go, we are tired of this situation,” she continued.

Renim told us that she gave birth to her child during the war.

“We decided to leave Gaza City when the shelling intensified. We have three children and moved to a displacement camp in search of safety, even if there is no place in Gaza where we feel safe. The shelling targeted us wherever we went,” she said. 

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‘Living in a Classroom’ 

Nidaa Abu Tuha also fled from Gaza City during the first month of Israel’s genocidal war. Just like Renim, her first destination was central Gaza, then Khan Yunis, then Rafah. 

“I have been living with my two children in Rafah for 4 months. We live in a shelter center affiliated with UNRWA, we sleep inside a classroom,” Nidaa told us.

“In the classroom, we only have space for two mattresses. We sleep, eat, and spend all our time there,” she said. 

“But now, after the Israeli aircraft dropped leaflets warning us to start invading Rafah, I will flee from Rafah to the Mawasi area west of Khan Yunis, or to the camps in central Gaza.”

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‘I Love My City’ 

Umm Mohammad Qishta is originally from Rafah and thinking of leaving her city breaks her heart.

“I was born, raised, married, and gave birth to my child in Rafah City. I love this city very much, and I am attached to every little thing,” Umm Mohammad told The Palestine Chronicle.

“I cannot live far from my city. We endured the shelling for seven months and our choice was to remain in our land, and we are still attached to it.”

Now, however, Umm Mohammad feels that she has no choice but to leave her city.

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“I fear that the occupation will kill my little child. In all the areas they invaded, thousands were killed, and all the homes were destroyed. We fear that this will be the fate of Rafah,” she said, with a shaking voice. 

“I appeal to the international community, the major powers, the Arab and Islamic countries. The occupation must be stopped and prevented from committing further crimes against humans, stones, and trees in the Gaza Strip. Seven months of war, killing, destruction, and sabotage are enough.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Abdallah Aljamal is a Gaza-based journalist. He is a correspondent for The Palestine Chronicle in the Gaza Strip. His email is

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1 Comment

  1. Yes, the whole world should intervene to prevent this Israeli Satan from furthering his brutal aggression including his minions for world peace. ICC should now issue the arrest warrants vs these satanic monsters.

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