UN Puts Rafah Evacuation Count At 300K

(IntegrityPress.org) – The U.N. is highlighting the evacuation of 300,000 people from Rafah, a city in southern Gaza as Israel is preparing to siege the city to root out remaining Hamas leadership and fighters still hiding in tunnels and buildings in the city.

A post from the U.N. Reliefs and Works Agency (UNRWA) suggested that there is no safe place to flee to inside the territory. The author of the post suggested the forced displacement under threat of lethal force was inhumane. UNRWA is the agency within the UN that provides much of the humanitarian relief in Gaza, including food, school and medical supplies.

Israel has threatened to invade Rafah for the past several weeks, they seized the nearby crossing with Egypt after claiming the area had been used to stage attacks against its forces. Israel issued fresh evacuation orders on Saturday, May 11 indicating its intention to continue the war within the city itself until their hostages are released.

The U.S. has been opposed to any military operations within the city with Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggesting Israel has no plan in place to specifically address the potential for mass civilian casualties. Blinken highlighted that any operations in the city require “a clear, credible plan” to protect the lives of innocent people in the area. He also added that Israel has no plan for what comes after the war.

Blinken told members of the press that Israel may have some success in accomplishing its military objectives, but the cost in terms of civilian life could be “incredibly high.” He added that any success they achieve won’t last as the cycle of violence is likely to continue.

The Biden administration temporarily paused the shipment of some large bombs to Israel over concerns the weapons could be used in operations in Gaza. While the shipment of thousands of 500 and 2,000 pound bombs was paused, Israel will still receive weapons shipments as well as cash and equipment previously approved by Congress.

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