Alleged Israel invasion on Rafah City alarming: UN

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The United Nations Secretary-General says reports that the Israeli military intends to focus next on Rafah, in southern Gaza, are alarming.

This after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israeli Defence Force to prepare a plan to evacuate civilians from the town, near the Egyptian border in the south.

Rafah’s pre-war population of nearly 300 000 has swollen to around 1.4 million with people who have fled south from areas in the north of the enclave.

The United Nations warns that any action to evacuate Rafah would exponentially increase what is already a humanitarian nightmare with untold regional consequences.

United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric says they are extremely worried.

“The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian (OCHA) Affairs says the unprecedented density of Rafah population makes it nearly impossible to protect civilians in the event of ground attacks. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian says the congestion in Rafah has reached a point where normal routes are blocked by tents set up by families seeking any flat, clean surface available.”

Dujarric adds: “In the last three months, the city has produced the equivalent of a year’s worth of garbage, that’s according to municipal authorities. OCHA  says the scarcity of food, clean water, health services and sanitation facilities have led to an outbreak of preventable diseases.”

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