OT - U.N. Officials Warn of ‘Dire’ Situation at Overcrowded Egypt-Gaza Border

U.N. officials warned on Sunday that pressure was mounting near Gaza’s border with Egypt, an area where tens of thousands of Palestinians have tried to flee Israel’s military campaign.

The Rafah border crossing with Egypt has become even more crucial since Israel imposed a complete siege of the Gaza Strip in response to the deadly Oct. 7 attack led by Hamas. It is the only point where aid has come in to the Gaza Strip, and where a relatively small number of people have been allowed out, since the war began.

Gazans have flocked to the area seeking safety and supplies. Thousands continue to arrive, heeding evacuation orders from Israel’s military that named parts of Rafah, the region next to the crossing, as a place to go for refuge, even as Israel expands its ground operation in the south.

But relief is in short supply. Aid officials have warned of “extreme” overcrowding and a “dire” situation in the border area, and have raised alarms about the spread of disease. Deteriorating conditions could push Palestinians over the border into Egypt, two U.N. officials warned on Sunday.

“The health care system is collapsing,” António Guterres, the U.N. secretary general, warned on Sunday in Qatar, saying that there was “no effective protection of civilians in Gaza.”


“I expect public order to completely break down soon, and an even worse situation could unfold, including epidemic diseases and increased pressure for mass displacement into Egypt,” he added.

Philippe Lazzarini, the commissioner general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which takes care of Palestinian refugees, said that even if there was no “deliberate policy,” Israel’s military operations were “putting more and more pressure for this type of scenario to unfold.”

“The population has been pushed more and more into tinier and tinier and tinier pieces of land in the Gaza Strip, and there is no way that this piece of land will be able to accommodate such a high number of people,” he said in an interview on Sunday.

Gazans who have fled to the Rafah area thinking that the southern part of the Gaza Strip would be safe have found airstrikes there, too.

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“We have no other place — and no safe place,” said Ziad Obeid, a senior civil servant for the Palestinian Authority, who said he had come to the outskirts of Rafah with his family after being displaced farther and farther south since the beginning of the war.

“We are fighting day and night just to get some bread, water and some vegetables,” he said, adding that he had struggled without success to find a few eggs for his elderly mother.

The Israeli government has not publicly called for large numbers of Gazans to move to Egypt. But diplomats have said that, in private, Israel has pushed for them to be housed in Egypt for the duration of the war — augmenting Palestinian fears of a permanent expulsion.

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Egypt is adamantly opposed to the idea, partly out of concern that the country — already facing a precarious economic situation — could be destabilized by an influx of refugees.

Egypt and other Arab governments also worry that such a move could give Israel a pretext to carry out a forced displacement of Gazans that could irreparably damage the struggle for Palestinian statehood. Gazans must “stay steadfast and remain on their land,” President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt said in October.

In moves that appeared to reflect concerns that the border could be breached, Egypt’s army has erected sand barriers and stationed tanks and other military vehicles along the border at Rafah, according to two people who live near the Egyptian side of the border. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Hamas can and should surrender.

The rest of it is just lame excuses.

BTW most of the Hamas leadership is not in Gaza. Living it up and having the peons fight a war.

Just like with the suicide boomers. Hamas searched for the weak-minded to commit suicide. Meanwhile, their kids were in Swiss boarding schools. When Palestinian parents figured out how sick this was the suicide boomings stopped.

Hamas has only won one election. Hamas never discussed any hostilities with Israel in the campaign.


They did not have to discuss it. Everyone knew it was just a matter of “when, not if”, there would be an attack on Israel. Now come the consequences of that choice. Their problem. They don’t like it? TOO BAD. THEIR CHOICE.

Another organization that has, repeatedly, been warning about the health care situation in Gaza has been Doctors Without Borders. Keeping in mind what happened to Yusuf, at the hands of the early 2000s USian regime, I’m glad I no longer donate to MSF, as a future, even Shinier, USian regime might tag MSF as a “supporter of terror”, and put everyone who donates to them on a “watch list”.


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It is worth keeping in mind that Hamas hasn’t offered an election in close to two decades. After which they basically murdered or drove out all competing political parties. Given the demographics of Gaza, it’s a certainty that most of the people never chose Hamas to govern there.


The half that could vote mostly never voted for Hamas. More than likely.

Because the tribal folks have different identities than the Muslim Brotherhood.

Considering life expectancy under Hamas’s violent rule most adults alive now might not have been old enough to vote.