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Oxfam reaction to Rafah evacuation order

Oxfam Australia 2 mins read

In reaction to Israel’s imminent invasion of Rafah, Sally Abi-Khalil, Oxfam’s Middle East and North Africa Regional Director said:

“We are horrified by Israel’s order to evacuate around 100,000 people and what appears to be an impending invasion of Rafah, despite a universal plea from world leaders urging it to stop its continued, barbaric, onslaught.

“The fear in Rafah is palpable, as people who have already been forced to flee across Gaza multiple times, must now move again.

“For over six months, Israel has deliberately and systematically targeted civilians and aid workers, including in clearly marked ‘safe zones’ and ‘evacuation routes’. Any claims it now makes that civilians can be safely evacuated, have lost credibility. Al-Mawasi area - a so-called humanitarian safe zone where people have been told to flee - has already been targeted twice.

“With Israel now blocking aid, fuel or goods from entering the two critical crossings of Rafah and Kerem Shalom, humanitarian efforts to save lives will be even more difficult.

“It's unfathomable that one government is allowed to ignore all warnings of the catastrophic humanitarian cost with full impunity, and to callously press forward in chilling disregard for human life, international law, and the ICJ ruling to prevent genocide. 

“This ground invasion must not be allowed to happen. With their multi-billion-dollar funds and direct arms support, powerful nations have effectively given Israel carte blanche to commit war crimes, they must finally act before more atrocities take place and press even harder for an immediate, permanent ceasefire.”

Notes to the editors

  • Oxfam currently has 22 staff remaining inside Gaza (including 7 in Rafah City), who are currently working closely with our local partners to support 133,088 people with lifesaving water, food and proper sanitation. To date they have also rehabilitated four wastewater networks in Rafah and Khan Yunis, reaching 58,000 people. Five desalination units across Rafah, Al-Mawasi, and Khan Younis were installed to provide safe drinking water. Oxfam and partners built some of the first desalination plants in its response, providing fresh water reaching 10,500 people.
  • Along with 14 partner organisations in Gaza, Oxfam started responding in the days after the crisis, delivering cash, food, and essential basic items as well as restoring water and sanitation services where possible. Oxfam and partner staff are working under extremely challenging circumstances, Oxfam has reached a total of 262,424 people with support. 

For interviews, contact Lucy Brown on 0478 190 099 / lucyb@oxfam.org.au

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