• Khan Younis

  • Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 10:17:04 AM
    Last Update : Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 10:17 AM

“Huge” Displacement from Khan Yunis to Rafah as Fighting Intensifies in Gaza, says Senior UNRWA Official

(AWP) - A massive wave of displacement towards the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, took place on Monday as fighting intensified between the Israeli army and Palestinian factions, according to the Media Advisor for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Speaking to AWP, Adnan Abu Hasna said that tens of thousands of Palestinians were seen heading to the Rafah area in the context of what he described as a “large operation to set up tents” for the displaced.

He said, “Yesterday there was a huge displacement movement towards the city of Rafah after fighting intensified in the Khan Yunis area. We saw tens of thousands heading to the Rafah area. There is a large operation to set up tents... makeshift tents being erected directly next to the border fence.”

Abu Hasna warned of what he considered to be a deteriorating health situation among the displaced Palestinians.

He said, “There is also a significant deterioration in health conditions, and we have noticed a large and multiplying spread in the number of people with infectious diseases such as skin diseases. There is an outbreak of meningitis and there is an outbreak of hepatitis. With the onset of winter, the health and environmental conditions are more likely to collapse dangerously. Moreover, there is enormous psychological pressure due to the overcrowding in shelter centres, which leads to the spread of many diseases.”

The UNRWA official said that about 1.7 million people have been displaced since the outbreak of the war in the Gaza Strip on October 7, adding that nearly one million of the displaced are currently staying in or around UNRWA shelter centres.

He also stressed that the amount of humanitarian aid reaching displaced Palestinians is insufficient compared to the required needs, saying, “The overall conditions are deteriorating dramatically. The amount of aid provided is small compared to the required needs. The average daily rate of [aid] trucks entering the Strip is about 80 trucks so far, although there are days when 150 or 200 trucks enter. But the average is about 80. This represents only about 7 or 8 percent of the needs of the Gaza Strip.”