U.N. says nearly 600,000 people living in its shelters in Gaza

October 25, 2023

The United Nations Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) in Gaza said Wednesday that nearly 600,000 people have been internally displaced and are sheltering in 150 of its facilities.

“Our shelters are FOUR times over their capacities—many people are sleeping in the streets as current facilities are overwhelmed,” the UNRWA wrote Wednesday on social media.

Civilians in Gaza have been caught in the crossfire of the Israel-Hamas war, which was sparked on October 7 by the terrorist organization’s massive surprise attack on Israel. Soon after, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a “complete seige” of Gaza, cutting off electricity, food, fuel and water in the territory.

Humanitarian aid trucks did begin rolling across Egypt’s Rafah border crossing into Gaza over the weekend, but the territory’s health system is reported on the cusp of collapse with the U.N. reporting Tuesday that nearly two-thirds of Gaza’s health care facilities, including 12 of its 35 hospitals, are no longer functioning.

The Israeli military late Monday said it struck a military target inside a Gaza refugee camp, stating that the location was part of “terror infrastructure and Hamas staging grounds” all across the territory.  The Gaza Health Ministry noted that “many of the casualties are children and women who are still under rubble.”

Meanwhile officials in Egypt, which borders Gaza, and in Jordan, which borders the West Bank, have declared a “red line” against relocating Palestinian refugees into their countries, amid concerns that the Israeli-Hamas war may trigger a new wave of permanent displacement in the region.

More than 5,000 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting so far, including over 2,000 children, the Hamas-controlled health ministry said. More than 1,400 Israelis have been killed in the conflict, mostly civilians in Hamas’ October 7 surprise attack.


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