UNRWA Reports Around 1 Million People Have Fled Rafah in the Past 3 Weeks

DUBAI – The United Nations Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) announced on Tuesday that approximately one million people have fled the Gazan city of Rafah over the past three weeks. The small city, located on the southern edge of the Gaza Strip, had been providing shelter to over a million Palestinians who had escaped Israeli assaults in other parts of the enclave.

Since early May, the Israeli military has been conducting what it describes as a limited operation in Rafah, aimed at eliminating fighters and dismantling infrastructure used by Hamas, the governing authority in Gaza. Civilians have been instructed to move to an “expanded humanitarian zone” approximately 20 km (12 miles) away.

Despite these instructions, many Palestinians have reported feeling unsafe from Israeli attacks no matter where they relocate, resulting in continuous movement up and down the Gaza Strip over the past few months.

UNRWA highlighted the dire conditions faced by those fleeing Rafah, stating that the mass exodus occurred “with nowhere safe to go and amidst bombardments, lack of food and water, piles of waste, and unsuitable living conditions.” The agency emphasized that providing assistance and protection to the displaced population is becoming nearly “impossible.”

The humanitarian crisis in Rafah underscores the severe challenges faced by displaced Palestinians, further complicating efforts to deliver aid and support amidst ongoing conflict.