Intensifying attacks in Rafah would have disastrous consequences, ActionAid warns

RAMALLAH: Amid fears of a coming ground invasion in Rafah, ActionAid is warning that any intensification in attacks on the governate – which is now home to more than half the entire population of Gaza – would have utterly disastrous consequences. The…


RAMALLAH: Amid fears of a coming ground invasion in Rafah, ActionAid is warning that any intensification in attacks on the governate – which is now home to more than half the entire population of Gaza – would have utterly disastrous consequences.

The organization said in a statement that “airstrikes have already reportedly increased in Rafah, the most southern zone of the besieged strip. With the area now hosting more than 1.4 million people, or more than five times its usual population, any attacks would undoubtedly cause a high number of casualties and make the distribution of aid even more challenging. ”

“There is nowhere left for people in Gaza to flee to. More than 85% of its 2.3 million inhabitants have been forced to leave their homes over the last four months, with many displaced multiple times. The huge influx of people arriving in Rafah has already put enormous strain on infrastructure and resources, yet people are continuing to arrive in their thousands. Overcrowding is extreme, with any availabl
e space taken up by tents, some of which are home to up to 12 people. Thousands of people are living crammed into increasingly unsanitary shelters, where hundreds of people share a single toilet.”

Riham Jafari, Advocacy and Communications Coordinator at ActionAid Palestine said that: ‘We are deeply concerned by reports of a potential ground invasion in Rafah and increased airstrikes on the area. Let us be absolutely clear: any intensification of hostilities in Rafah, where more than 1.4 million people are sheltering, would be absolutely disastrous. More than 27,000 people have already been killed in this months-long nightmare in Gaza: it is impossible to see how this number wouldn’t soar even higher if the final remaining supposedly safe place in the strip came under attack. Where on earth is Gaza’s exhausted and starving population supposed to go?”

Source: Palestine news and Information Agency – WAFA

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