Middle East

About 800,000 people have fled Rafah since Israeli operation began in the city, head of UN agency says

From CNN’s Sarah al-Sirgany and Eyad Kourdi

Approximately 800,000 people, nearly half of Rafah’s population, have been displaced since Israeli forces started military operations in the area on May 6, according to the head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Since the conflict in Gaza began, Palestinians have been repeatedly forced to flee, “never finding safety, not even in UNRWA shelters,” the agency’s commissioner general, Philippe Lazzarini, said Saturday in a post on X.

He also said the number of aid trucks getting into the strip is only “a small trickle amid the growing humanitarian needs and mass displacement.”

“While we welcome reports on first shipments arriving at the new floating dock, land routes remain the most viable, effective, efficient and safest aid delivery method. The crossings must re-open and be safe to access,” he said.

Lazzarini’s comments echo a warning from another UN agency, which said in a report Friday that Gazans face a “dire” food situation as Israel tightly restricts aid deliveries to the enclave.

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