UNRWA Warns of ‘Israel’s’ Rafah Invasion Plan

UNRWA highlights that the current estimated population in Rafah is up to 1.5 million people at risk of "Israel's" invasion of Rafah.

While “Israel” prepares for a full-scale invasion of Rafah, UNRWA warned of the serious consequences of this move amid an unbearable civilian toll and an already dire humanitarian crisis.

The UN agency highlighted intense confrontations in and around Khan Younis, lasting for the past 17 days, resulting in high casualties and the destruction of civilian infrastructure, including the largest UNRWA shelter in the southern region, the Khan Younis Training Centre (KYTC).

As a consequence, thousands of Palestinians are compelled to evacuate to the already densely populated Rafah, where reports of Israeli Forces’ strikes on February 7 have been noted, it added.

The current estimated population in Rafah is up to 1.5 million people, and any additional Israeli aggression in the area would exacerbate the challenges faced by humanitarian operations already stretched to their limits, as per UNRWA.

UNRWA highlighted that reaching isolated populations north of Wadi Gaza remains a formidable challenge, with only 10 out of the planned 35 UNRWA/UNRWA inclusive missions successfully reaching this area between January 1 and February 5.

In the same context, UNRWA reported that the total number of its staff killed since the start of Israeli aggression has reached 154.

Over 1.7 million people, constituting over 75 percent of the population, have been displaced across the Gaza Strip as of February 7, it warned.

The ongoing forced displacement has led families to move multiple times, seeking safety, and recent intense Israeli bombardments and confrontations in Khan Younis and the Middle Area have prompted a significant number of forcibly displaced people to relocate further south, as per the report.

Amnesty International warns against offensive

Amnesty International issued a severe warning, on Saturday, stressing that Benjamin Netanyahu’s orders to the IOF planning an attack on Rafah in the Gaza Strip constitute a “grave risk of genocide” for Palestinians.

Amnesty International Secretary-General, Agnes Callamard, posted a statement on X, expressing concern about the feasibility and safety of evacuation measures, shedding light on the misery Palestinians are experiencing in Gaza as a result of the Israeli genocide against them.

Callmard emphasized, “The statement published by the office of PM Netanyahu, which instructs the Israeli military to produce a plan for the ‘evacuation of the civilian population’ of Rafah has spread panic in the southern governorate raising fears that a massive ground operation is imminent.”

“Such an operation will have catastrophic consequences for more than a million people – the vast majority of them displaced – who are living in desperate conditions in Rafah, squeezed into overcrowded areas, makeshift tents, and schools or sleeping on the streets, who have nowhere to go,” she added. 

These remarks came shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin stated on February 7 that the next phase of the ground invasion in Gaza after Khan Younis will be Rafah, noting that the war on the Strip “will continue till the end.”

She further urged the international community to support the Palestinian people who are facing “the real and imminent risk of genocide.”

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