Chaos and panic in Rafah as malnourished infants, people in wheelchairs and injured patients among those ordered to leave


ALEXANDRIA, VA –  Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) has released the following statement:

As Israel orders more people to evacuate parts of central and northern Rafah today, Islamic Relief staff in Gaza report scenes of utter chaos and panic.  

More than 150,000 people have fled Rafah in recent days, and around 300,000 people are now affected by the evacuation orders as Israel’s attack on Rafah spreads and intensifies. Many people are walking miles to search for shelter, carrying whatever possessions they can. Extremely vulnerable people including malnourished infants, elderly people, injured and sick patients, and people with severe disabilities are among those ordered to move. Most are now sheltering in horrific conditions, without adequate access to food, water or other essentials. 


An Islamic Relief staff member in Gaza says:  

“I feel like this is the end. It feels like we will all be either trapped and killed in Gaza, or we will all be forced out. People have stayed in Rafah thinking it’s safe and hoping that global pressure would stop an invasion. But now we are abandoned by the world and everyone feels betrayed and let down.  

It’s an unimaginable scene, with tens of thousands of people looking for shelter. People are pale and thin, tired and afraid. There are children, women, elderly people and people with disabilities trying to flee in wheelchairs. Injured people have to leave hospital with recent bandages and bloodstains.  

In other parts of Gaza, the few bits of remaining land are now filling up with tents and shacks built of bits of wood and nylon.  

No humanitarian assistance has entered since Israel took over the Rafah crossing and Kerem Abu Salem crossing closed. Bakeries have stopped working because they don’t have fuel, so we don’t have bread. We don’t have any water supply as that also depends on fuel deliveries, so yesterday we had to pay $50 just to refill our tank. Cars have stopped, so people coming from Rafah to the Middle Area are either walking or packed into vans carrying hundreds of people.   

Many people in Gaza are already suffering from famine, but now we are entering a new period of unprecedented hardship.”  


Islamic Relief strongly condemns Israel’s order for civilians to evacuate yet again and calls on world leaders who have repeatedly warned against an invasion of Rafah to urgently pressure Israel to stop its attack and ensure humanitarian aid can enter Gaza. 





Syed M. Hassan  or
(571) 421-7032 (CELL)





Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization. Its mission is to provide relief and development in a dignified manner regardless of gender, race, or religion, and works to empower individuals in their communities and give them a voice in the world. Its programs benefit millions of people each year in more than 40 countries around the world, including in the United States.

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