Around a million individuals have evacuated the town of Rafah in Gaza within the last three weeks, as reported by the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) on Tuesday. The city had previously provided refuge for over a million Palestinians who had fled Israeli attacks in other parts of the region. Since early May, the Israeli military has been engaged in what it claims to be a limited operation in Rafah, aimed at targeting militants and dismantling Hamas-run infrastructure in Gaza. Civilians have been instructed to relocate to an 'expanded humanitarian zone' around 20km away.

Many Palestinians have expressed their vulnerability to Israeli attacks regardless of their location, resulting in continual movement throughout the Gaza Strip in recent months. UNRWA indicated that the exodus from Rafah occurred in the midst of bombardments, scarcity of essential resources, accumulation of waste, and unsuitable living conditions, with no secure destinations to seek refuge.

The agency stated that delivering aid and ensuring protection has become increasingly challenging, bordering on the point of impossibility.