‘One Million Palestinians Have Fled Rafah’ amid Israel’s Invasion – UNRWA

Nearly one million Palestinians have fled the southern Gazan town of Rafah. (Photo: via QNN)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Rafah housed more than 1.5 million displaced Palestinians before the ground invasion began on May 6.

Nearly one million Palestinians have fled the southern Gazan town of Rafah, amid the Israeli military’s ongoing incursion into the city, the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has said.

“In the past 3 weeks around 1 million people have fled Rafah,” UNRWA said on X on Tuesday. “This happened with nowhere safe to go & amidst bombardments, lack of food & water, piles of waste & unsuitable living conditions.”

The UN agency added, “Day after day, providing assistance & protection becomes nearly impossible.”

It reiterated its call for an immediate ceasefire.

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Rafah housed more than 1.5 million displaced Palestinians before the ground invasion began on May 6. Many had fled their homes in areas across the besieged enclave which was attacked by Israeli forces.

On Tuesday, the Israeli army began expanding its incursion into Rafah amid heavy shelling and bombing, forcing thousands to flee western Rafah towards Khan Younis and areas in the central Gaza Strip.

‘Hell on Earth’

At least 45 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a camp for the displaced in Rafah on Sunday, causing a fire that spread rapidly through the tents. Footage showed charred bodies, as well as a man holding a beheaded baby as screams were heard all around him.

UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, said on Monday that images from the attack “are testament to how Rafah has turned into hell on earth.”

Lazzarini said UNRWA is doing “everything possible” not to interrupt the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

“But with every day passing, providing assistance & protection becomes nearly impossible,” he stressed.

The UNRWA Chief said he echoed the dismay expressed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the “lack of implementation” of the recent court order by the International Court of Justice regarding Rafah, emphasizing that “The decisions of the ICJ are binding.”

He warned that the military operation in Rafah “must immediately end & the flow of humanitarian assistance into Gaza must improve without further delay.”

The ICJ on Friday ordered Israel to halt its ground invasion of Rafah, withdraw its forces and ensure unimpeded humanitarian aid into the enclave.

Israel has however intensified its attacks on the town.

At least 20 people were killed and many others wounded on Tuesday in a new massacre carried out by the Israeli occupation army, which bombed a camp for displaced people in the Al-Mawasi area of Rafah.

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Staggering Death Toll

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 36,096 Palestinians have been killed, and 81,136 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

International Court of Justice Orders Immediate Halt of Israel’s Operation in Rafah – BREAKING

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(PC, Anadolu)

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