9 In 10 Gazans Displaced Since War Began: UN

Around nine in every 10 people in the Gaza Strip have been displaced at least once since the war between Israel and Hamas began, the UN humanitarian agency said Wednesday.

Andrea De Domenico, head of the United Nations’ OCHA agency in the Palestinian territories, said that around 1.9 million people are thought to be displaced in Gaza.

“We estimate that nine in every 10 people in the Gaza Strip have been internally displaced at least once, if not up to 10 times, unfortunately, since October,” he told reporters in New York and Geneva, speaking from Jerusalem.

“Before we were estimating 1.7 (million) but since that number, we had the operation in Rafah, and we had additional displacement from Rafah,” he said, explaining the increase.

“Then we had also operations in the north that has also moved people,” he added.

He said such military operations had forced people to reset their lives, over and over again.

“Behind these numbers, there are people… that have fears and grievances. And they had probably dreams and hopes; the less and less, I fear today, unfortunately,” De Domenico said.

“People who in the last nine months have been moved around like pawns in a board game.”

He said the Gaza Strip had been cut in two by Israel’s military operations, with OCHA estimating that there were 300,000-350,000 people living in the north of the besieged territory who were unable to go to the south.

Meanwhile he added that since the war began, an estimated 110,000 people had managed to leave the Gaza Strip before the Rafah crossing into Egypt was closed in early May.

De Domenico said some had remained in Egypt while others had since moved onwards.

The bloodiest-ever Gaza war broke out after Hamas’s October 7 attack on southern Israel resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

The militants also seized 251 hostages, 116 of whom remain in Gaza including 42 the army says are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive since then has killed at least 37,953 people, also mostly civilians, according to data from the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

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