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UNRWA Director: About 800,000 fled Rafah

UNRWA Director: About 800,000 fled Rafah

Since the start of the Israeli military operation in Rafah nearly two weeks ago, about 800,000 people have left the city in the southern Gaza Strip, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). UNRWA Director-General Philippe Lazzarini said this evening that nearly half of Rafah's population is once again on the streets, having been forced to flee since the start of the Israeli military operation in the area on May 6. In Rafah, the Israeli leadership says it wants to destroy the last brigades of the Islamic Hamas movement that are believed to be present there. Meanwhile, the Israeli army found the body of another Israeli killed in the Gaza Strip.

Great resistance to attack

Allies such as the United States have repeatedly warned Israel against launching a large-scale attack on the city on the border with Egypt because hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians reside there. But Israel is sticking to its attack plans on Rafah.

Until the start of Israeli military operations in the region, about one million people had sought protection there from the fighting in the rest of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army advanced towards the city from the east about two weeks ago and had already destroyed, among other things, an Islamic missile launch site. According to Israeli sources, 50 Hamas fighters were killed today in Rafah.

“There are no safe areas”

Lazzarini also wrote that people responded to Israeli calls to evacuate and headed to “safe areas” in the middle of the closed coastal strip and to Khan Yunis. However, there are neither safe water supplies nor sanitation facilities in these areas. The claim that people in Gaza can move to “safe” or “humanitarian” areas is false.

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He added: “There are no safe areas in Gaza,” and called on the parties to the conflict to allow humanitarian aid to pass quickly. “Above all, it is time to agree on a ceasefire.”

The army recovers the body of another hostage

Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip recovered the body of another Israeli killed by Hamas on October 7. The Israeli army announced on Saturday that he was Ron Benjamin. Citing intelligence sources, spokesman Daniel Hagari said that Benjamin was killed in a Hamas attack on the Israeli border area on October 7. The body was found with three other Hamas victims whose repatriation was announced the day before.