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Tuesday June 18, 2024

Over 338,000 Palestinians displaced in Gaza: UN agency

UN report also disclosed that approximately 3,000 people had been displaced within the Gaza Strip even before Saturday's attack

By Web Desk
October 12, 2023
Palestinians walk through a ravaged street following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City, on October 10, 2023. AFP/File
Palestinians walk through a ravaged street following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City, on October 10, 2023. AFP/File

GAZA: The United Nations has released a harrowing report on the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, revealing that over 338,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in the Gaza Strip. 

The UN's humanitarian agency, OCHA, described the situation as a "mass displacement" as heavy Israeli bombardments continue to pound the densely populated Palestinian enclave.

The crisis deepened as Israel intensified its attacks on Hamas targets in response to the militants' surprise Saturday assault. Israeli forces reported that approximately 1,200 people, the majority of them civilians, have tragically lost their lives during this devastating onslaught, marking it as one of the most severe in the country's history. 

In Gaza, officials reported over 1,000 casualties due to Israel's sustained campaign of air and artillery strikes.

OCHA's statement highlighted that nearly 220,000 of the displaced individuals, which make up two-thirds of the total, have sought refuge in schools run by the UN agency that supports Palestinian refugees, UNRWA. 

Meanwhile, around 15,000 people have sought shelter in schools run by the Palestinian Authority, and over 100,000 are being sheltered by relatives, neighbours, and various other facilities within Gaza City.

The report also disclosed that approximately 3,000 people had been displaced within the Gaza Strip even before Saturday's attack, reflecting the longstanding turmoil in the region.

The bombardment has inflicted extensive damage to Gaza's housing infrastructure, with at least 2,540 housing units rendered uninhabitable. Additionally, another 22,850 housing units suffered moderate to minor damage. 

Furthermore, the UN agency expressed alarm at the substantial destruction of civilian infrastructure, including sewage facilities that serve more than a million people, resulting from air strikes. 

The damaged sewage facilities have led to solid waste accumulating in the streets, posing a grave health hazard to the population.