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UN says Gaza being pushed into abyss amid Israeli assault on Rafah

The UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) has warned that Israel's planned ground invasion of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip will cause unprecedented levels of misery and further push people in Gaza into the abyss.

Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner general of UNRWA, stated on Wednesday that there is “absolutely no safe place in Rafah anymore,” as Israeli bombardments continue to target residential areas, including houses and mosques. 

UNRWA also shared images of displaced individuals being forced to flee once again, this time towards the central parts of the besieged strip, in search of safety.

“People in Gaza pushed further into the abyss. Forced to move again,” said UNRWA on X, formerly Twitter.

Fears are growing amid Israeli threats of a ground invasion of Rafah, which according to the UN, is crammed with almost half of the Gaza population.

The UN has repeatedly warned against a large-scale Israeli military assault on Rafah, where at least 1.4 million internally displaced people are sheltering from attacks.

WHO warns of ‘unfathomable catastrophe’

Meanwhile,  Rik Peeperkorn, WHO representative for Gaza and the occupied West Bank, in remarks on Wednesday said that the health system in Gaza was completely overburdened and under-capacitated.

Peeperkorn also warned that the looming Israeli invasion of Rafah would result in an "unfathomable catastrophe."

He added that a full Israeli military offensive in the border city would “further expand the humanitarian disaster beyond imagination”.

“It will also … push the health system closer to the brink of collapse,” Peeperkorn said.

UN officials noted that Israel has denied several requests to distribute medical aid to Gaza, which has limited WHO’s ability to provide aid for the Gazans in need.

The WHO’s ability to distribute medical aid to Gaza is severely limited because many of its requests to deliver supplies were denied by Israel, he said.

Only 40 percent of WHO’s missions into isolated northern Gaza were authorized from November and this figure dropped significantly since January.

“Even when there is no ceasefire, humanitarian corridors should exist so that WHO, the UN, can do their job,” Peeperkorn said.

The humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip is deteriorating at an alarming pace as the Israeli regime keeps pressing ahead with its genocidal war on the besieged territory.

On the 131st day of the US-backed war, Israel intensified its attacks, especially on the cities of Rafah and Khan Younis.  At least 103 more Palestinians have been killed in the past day.

The situation in Rafah and Khan Younis remains dire amid constant bombing and shelling.

The UN and other humanitarian agencies have warned of an impending catastrophe as the Israeli blockade and attacks have severely limited access to food, water, fuel, electricity, and medicine.

Relentless attacks, especially on residential areas, hospitals and schools have left Gazans without basic amenities.

The UN has estimated that over 80 percent of the population in Gaza needs urgent humanitarian aid.

Nearly 28,600 Palestinians, mostly women and children have been killed since Israel launched its onslaught on Gaza in early October.


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