Mass Displacement in Gaza Reaches Unconscionable Levels

Statement from Refugees International Senior Advocate for the Middle East Jesse Marks: 

“Refugees International is deeply concerned over the displacement of a staggering 450,000 civilians from Rafah over the past week. Israel’s ongoing operation in Rafah, coupled with mandatory evacuations for areas hosting densely populated displacement camps, have pushed hundreds of thousands to flee and further exacerbated a dire hunger crisis, while undermining the ability to address it. NGOs operating in Rafah have been forced to relocate, restricting their access to their aid stockpiles, warehouses, and shelters, which fell in the operation zones. An immediate ceasefire is needed to end this, to create a path for release of Israeli hostages, and to open the window for an adequate famine response. The decision by Hamas and Israeli leadership to choose fighting over a ceasefire has condemned the whole of Gaza’s population to continued suffering.

The expansion of Israel’s military operations in northern Gaza is also displacing Palestinians stranded there, where UN agencies report a famine is underway. The dual displacement from the north and south is forcing hundreds of thousands to flee toward the sea, beyond the reach of humanitarian actors. Meanwhile, the safe movement of aid workers and distribution of aid inside of Gaza continues to be obstructed. Conditions are rapidly deteriorating, and UN agencies are reporting that dwindling food and fuel stocks could force their aid operations to stop. This is unacceptable in a situation of widening famine.

The Biden administration and international community must exert all pressure necessary on Israeli and Hamas leadership to create the conditions for an immediate ceasefire, a halt to further mass displacement, and a massive humanitarian scale-up to avert a worsening famine in Gaza.”

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Etant Dupain at  

Featured Image: Palestinians pack their belongings as they prepare to flee Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 13, 2024. Photo by AFP via Getty Images.