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Rafah, divided between war zone, ghost city and extreme overcrowding

Rafah, divided between war zone, ghost city and extreme overcrowding

The Israeli military incursion has divided the city of Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, into three: the east, which has been reduced to a war zone, a central area converted into a ghost city and the western part where people are overcrowded in deplorable conditions, said today the NGO Norwegian Refugee Council, present on the ground.

Some 900,000 people have been displaced this month in Gaza following the expansion of the offensive by Israeli forces in Rafah, a town on the border with Egypt and where nearly 1.5 million Gazans had sought refuge until a few weeks ago.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (CNR) recalled that the majority of this population has already been displaced seven or eight times before, “and now he has no choice but to rely on so-called humanitarian safe zones designated by the same forces that have killed his relatives and destroyed his homes.”.

A Palestinian man and his children sit in a destroyed room following the targeting or a residential building by an Israeli airstrike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 22, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas group. Heavy fighting has raged around Gaza’s far southern city near the border with Egypt, the last part of Gaza to face a ground invasion, where an AFP team reported more air and artillery strikes early in the morning on May 22. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)

He also denounced the blockade of the entry of humanitarian aid through the Rafah border crossing, “where we have about fifty trucks stopped at the Egyptian border among the more than 2,000 waiting to bring medicines, tents, water supplies, compresses and many other basic products”.

The head of this NGO’s operations in Gaza, Suze van Meegen, said that the fuel that has arrived this week in the Strip represents one eighth of the minimum humanitarian needs, barely enough to keep a few health services running.

This lack makes it impossible to pump or desalinate water or keep communications systems running, among other essential services.

People who move from one place to another no longer find free tents in which to settle, while people do not have access to money to buy food or pay for transportation to flee, the humanitarian official stressed.

Children watch smoke rise during Israeli strikes east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 13, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.  (AFP Photo)
Children watch smoke rise during Israeli strikes east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 13, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. (AFP Photo)

Source: Gestion

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