Hamas says UN agency complicit in 'forced displacement' of Gazans

AFP , Wednesday 8 Nov 2023

Hamas accused Wednesday the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees of "colluding" with Israel in the "forced displacement" of residents of Gaza.

Palestinians flee to the southern Gaza Strip on Salah Al-Din Street in Bureij, Gaza Strip, 8 Novembe
Palestinians flee to the southern Gaza Strip on Salah Al-Din Street in Bureij, Gaza Strip, 8 November, 2023. AP


"UNRWA and its officials bear responsibility for this humanitarian catastrophe, in particular the residents of the Gaza area and north of it, who are following instructions to flee," said Salama Maruf, head of the media bureau of Hamas.

The Israeli army has told Palestinians in the north to move south as it "battles Hamas militants" in Gaza City.

A UNRWA spokeswoman did not immediately respond when contacted by AFP about the Hamas accusation.

The UN previously said 1.5 million of the 2.4 million people living in the densely populated strip have been displaced by the Israeli war on Gaza last month.

After 7 October, tens of thousands of Palestinians took shelter from Israeli bombardment in UNRWA-run facilities in the Gaza Strip.

However, Israel has carried out airstrikes on tens of these facilities, destroying or damaging at least 48 of its schools and other buildings. 

UNRWA had said that 92 of its staff in the strip were killed in Israeli bombardment.

For the 33rd consecutive day, Israel has continued its relentless bombardment on the besieged strip, but it is facing fierce resistance from Palestinian fighters.

The Palestinian death toll from non-stop Israeli bombardment on the strip has reached 10,560 people, including 4,324 children and 2,823 women.

More than 24,000 have been wounded, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

More than half of all residential buildings in the strip have been destroyed or damaged by Israeli bombardment, according to various reports.

On Wednesday, tens of thousands of Palestinians left the north of Gaza on foot heading south, in the largest forced displacement of the population since the 1948 Nakba.

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