Middle East

UN estimates nearly 79,000 people have fled Rafah since Monday

From CNN’s Ibrahim Dahman and Alex Stambaugh

The UN’s main relief agency in Gaza (UNRWA) estimates that nearly 79,000 people have fled the southern city of Rafah since Monday as an Israeli offensive in the city expands.

“Rafah today: now daily scene of forcibly displaced families fleeing area,” the agency’s communications officer Louise Wateridge wrote on X on Thursday.

Wateridge said there is “extreme fear from significant bombardment in Rafah overnight and continuing throughout this morning.”

Some context: Palestinians in parts of eastern Rafah were told to evacuate on Monday by the Israeli military as it launched an offensive in the city. Israel’s attack in Rafah has since expanded from airstrikes to ground operations, satellite images obtained by CNN from Planet Labs show.

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