NewsThousands forced to flee as Israeli military offensive intensifies

Thousands forced to flee as Israeli military offensive intensifies

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May, 2024- Israeli military forces have begun their offensive on Rafah and have seized control of the border, effectively cutting off lifesaving aid deliveries into Gaza, Palestine.

As thousands of Palestinians are forced to flee eastern Rafah following Israel’s recent evacuation orders, MSF calls for protection of civilians and the reopening of the Rafah border crossing.

The closure of this key entry point into Gaza is jeopardising the humanitarian response, leaving stocks including fuel, food, medicines, and water dangerously low, and people trapped amid renewed fighting.

“Rafah crossing, a vital humanitarian access point, has been closed completely until further notice. This will have a devastating impact, as assistance coming through this crossing is a lifeline for the whole Gaza Strip,” says Aurelie Godard, Medical Team Leader in Gaza.

“After seven months of war, which has forced 1.7 million people to flee their homes, the decision to close this crossing further exacerbates the already dire living conditions for people trapped in Gaza,” says Godard.

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On 6 May, Israeli forces ordered 100,000 people east of Rafah to evacuate to Al Mawasi, a zone between the west of Rafah and Khan Younis, where shelters and resources are also extremely scarce. Rafah was previously designated by the Israeli forces as a safe zone for civilians.

“Having to suspend activities of a health post where our teams carried out 8,269 consultations in April alone, or for instance did 344 dressings last week, is catastrophic,” says Paulo Milanesio, MSF emergency coordinator in Rafah.

Since the beginning of this war, MSF has seen a pattern of systematic attacks against medical facilities and civilian infrastructure. The health system in Gaza is being dismantled just as the needs are exploding, with devastating consequences for Palestinian people.

Also Read: Missile Attack on MSF Office in Ukraine? Read More

MSF reiterates its call for an immediate and sustained ceasefire to stop further death and destruction in Gaza and allow for lifesaving assistance to flow into the enclave.

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