More Than 260,000 People Displaced In Gaza – UN

According to the UN, over 260,000 Palestinians have been forced to abandon their homes in Gaza as Israel continues to bombard the Palestinian enclave from the air, land, and sea.

Since Hamas launched a surprise attack on Saturday, dozens have died in fierce combat on both sides, prompting Israel’s retaliatory bombing campaign.

“Over 263,934 people are thought to have fled their homes in Gaza,” the UN humanitarian organization OCHA stated in a report Tuesday, warning that “this number is expected to rise further.”

It said that around 3,000 people had been displaced “due to previous escalations”, prior to Saturday.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in Israel in the bloodiest attack in the country’s 75-year history, while 900 people have been killed in Gaza since the air attacks began.

According to OCHA, the bombing campaign has destroyed over 1,000 dwelling units, and 560 have been seriously damaged, rendering them unusable.

According to UNRWA, over 175,500 persons among the displaced sought refuge in 88 schools sponsored by the UN agency that assists Palestinian refugees.

More than 14,500 people had fled to 12 government schools, with an estimated 74,000 staying with relatives and neighbors or finding refuge in churches and other facilities.

The number of internally displaced individuals in Gaza “represents the highest number of people displaced since the 50-day escalation of hostilities in 2014,” according to the report.

“Meeting basic needs is becoming increasingly challenging for those who have not been displaced,” OCHA said in a statement.

Israel has put a “complete siege” on the already-blocked Gaza Strip, shutting off food, water, gasoline, and electricity – a move that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned will exacerbate an already severe humanitarian situation.

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