Aid groups in Rafah say the Israeli offensive is pushing them out

Israel's offensive in the southern city of Rafah has strained medical and humanitarian services to the breaking point, aid workers say, with only one hospital still functioning and several relief operations forced to move to other parts of the Gaza Strip. Gaza.

The health crisis in the city has been worsened by the closure of emergency clinics and other services amid ongoing clashes and strikes that have killed dozens of civilians.

An attack that Israel said was aimed at a Hamas compound set fire to a camp for displaced people in Rafah on Sunday, killing 45 people, according to Gaza's Health Ministry. Another attack on Tuesday in Al-Mawasi, on the outskirts of Rafah, killed 21 people and wounded dozens, the ministry said.

Among the aid operations that closed their doors this week are a field hospital run by the Palestinian Red Crescent, a clinic supported by Doctors Without Borders and kitchens run by World Central Kitchen.

“As Israeli attacks intensify on Rafah, the unpredictable flow of aid into Gaza has created the mirage of improved access, while the humanitarian response is actually on the brink of collapse,” 19 aid groups said in a statement on Tuesday joint.

Some of the operations that were forced to move took place in Al-Mawasi, where many civilians and humanitarian workers went because Israel designated part of the area as a humanitarian safe zone. The Israeli army said after Tuesday's attack that it had not fired on that area. Videos verified by the New York Times indicate that the strike occurred near, but not within, the area.

Aid workers have noted how difficult it is for people in Gaza to determine whether they are in an area designated as safe, as many have limited access to cell phones or the Internet.

“Civilians are massacred. They are being pushed into areas they thought would be safe only to be subjected to relentless airstrikes and heavy fighting,” Chris Lockyear, secretary general of Doctors Without Borders, said in a statement.

Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesman for Gaza's Health Ministry, called for safe routes for displaced people, more border crossings for aid and more field hospitals in Rafah.

“There is no medical capacity to deal with the subsequent massacres in Rafah and northern Gaza,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *