UN Says About 300,000 Palestinians Have Fled Rafah as Israeli Forces Push Further Into the City

Israel is also escalating in northern Gaza's Jabalia refugee camp

The UN’s Palestinian relief agency has said about 300,000 Palestinians have fled Rafah as Israeli forces continue to push further into the city.

Rafah was sheltering an estimated 1.4 million Palestinians before Israel launched an operation to capture the border crossing last Monday. The Israeli military ordered more Palestinians to evacuate parts of southeast Rafah on Saturday, and it continues to escalate in the city despite warnings from the US against a full-scale invasion.

UNRWA wrote on X that the “forced and inhumane displacement of Palestinians continues” and stressed that there is “nowhere safe to go.” Israel has suggested Palestinians go to the al-Mawasi refugee camp on Gaza’s coast, but aid groups say it doesn’t have the resources for so many people.

Israel’s closure of the Rafah border crossing has cut off vital aid deliveries, adding to the starvation blockade, and for five days, no fuel entered Gaza. Israel has allowed some to enter the nearby Kerem Shalom crossing, although not nearly as much as aid groups say is needed.

Military situation in Gaza on May 12, 2024 (SouthFront.press)

According to The New York Times, Rafah had three major hospitals that were partially functioning before Israel launched its operation to capture the crossing. As a result of the Israeli attack, one has shut down completely.

Israel is also escalating in northern Gaza and has launched a ground operation in the Jabalia refugee camp. Israel sent tanks into Jabalia after launching heavy artillery and airstrikes on the city, killing 19 people, according to Reuters. Al-Qassam Bridages, the armed wing of Hamas, announced its fighters were engaging with Israeli troops on the ground in Jabalia.

Gaza’s Health Ministry on Sunday reported a total of 63 deaths across Gaza in the previous 24-hour period and said the total number of Palestinians killed by Israel’s onslaught since October 7 has surpassed 35,000.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.