Israel-Hamas Conflict Sparks Mass Displacement of 338k+ in Gaza, U.N. Reports


Palestinians flee homes as Israeli bombardments intensify

According to the United Nations, over 338,000 people in the Gaza Strip have been forced to leave their homes as heavy Israeli bombardments continue to target the Palestinian enclave. In a statement released on October 12, the UN humanitarian agency OCHA stated that “mass displacement across the Gaza Strip continues.”

Escalation of the Israel-Hamas conflict

By late October 11, the number of displaced people in Gaza had risen by 75,000 within 24 hours, reaching a total of 338,934. The surge in displacement coincided with Israel’s intensified bombing campaign against Hamas targets in the densely populated Gaza Strip. Israeli forces reported that 1,200 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in what is being described as the deadliest onslaught in the country’s history. Meanwhile, Gaza officials reported over 1,000 deaths as a result of Israel’s sustained air and artillery strikes.

Shelters and destruction of infrastructure

According to OCHA, nearly 220,000 people, or two-thirds of the displaced population, have sought refuge in schools run by the UN agency, UNRWA, which supports Palestinian refugees. Another nearly 15,000 people have taken shelter in schools operated by the Palestinian Authority, while more than 100,000 have found refuge with relatives, neighbors, and various facilities in Gaza City. OCHA also noted that about 3,000 people were already displaced within Gaza before the recent escalation.

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As a result of the bombing campaign, at least 2,540 housing units have been destroyed or rendered uninhabitable, and another 22,850 units have sustained varying degrees of damage, according to OCHA, citing figures from the Gaza Ministry of Public Works and Housing. The UN agency also expressed concern about the significant destruction of civilian infrastructure, including sewage facilities that serve more than a million people. The damage to these sewage facilities poses a health threat as solid waste accumulates in the streets.

International response and aid

The escalation of the Israel-Hamas conflict has garnered international attention and concern. The United Nations has called for an immediate cessation of violence and has urged all parties involved to prioritize the protection of civilians and respect international humanitarian law. Numerous countries and organizations have also provided humanitarian aid to address the urgent needs of the displaced population and to support relief efforts on the ground.

The international community continues to monitor the situation closely and calls for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict.



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