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Gaza: Rafah 'pressure cooker of despair' as assault looms

Gaza war: UN calls Rafah 'pressure cooker of despair' as Israeli assault on southern 'safe-zone' looms
12 min read
02 February, 2024
The southern city of Rafah has been described as a "pressure cooker of despair" as more and more Gazans flee, while an Israeli attack is imminent.
Israel's war in Gaza entered its 118th day on Friday, killing over 27,100 Palestinians [Getty/file photo]

The United Nations humanitarian office on Friday voiced concern about the hostilities in Khan Younis that have forced more people to flee to Rafah in the far south of Gaza, describing the border town as a "pressure cooker of despair".

The comments come as Israel prepares to advance its war on Gaza farther south, close to the Egyptian border, where most Gazans have sought refuge from the Israeli offensive.

"I want to emphasize our deep concern about the escalation of hostilities in Khan Younis, which has resulted in an increase in the number of internally displaced people seeking refuge in Rafah in recent days," said Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

More than half of Gaza's 2.3 million people are sheltering in the area, mainly cold and hungry in makeshift tents and public buildings.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the enclave has reached at least 27,131 as of Friday, with over 100 Palestinians killed overnight.