OCCUPIED GAZA - Continued hostilities and evacuation orders in Gaza have led to the closure of key humanitarian facilities in Rafah, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Only three field hospitals are operating in Rafah in southern Gaza, one of which is only functioning partially, and all of these facilities are overwhelmed and undersupplied, OCHA said, with the seven-month-long war severely impacting civilians and the infrastructure they depend on for healthcare.

The UN humanitarian aid agency said the Malnutrition Stabilisation Centre in the Tal as-Sultan area is currently not functioning, and teams are working on relocating to the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis.

OCHA also reported that the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) had documented about 32,000 people fleeing Rafah between Wednesday and Thursday.

‘Families are looking for safety’

OCHA said families are looking for safety, but nowhere in the enclave is safe.

In central Gaza, humanitarian partners who have been working to improve water, sanitation and hygiene access noted that “internally displaced people who have sought shelter at sites in Khan Younis still don’t have enough safe drinking water.”

These partners have established 10 new water points in Khan Younis, but emphasised that water production in Gaza is about one fifth of what it was in October.

“Across Gaza, civilians face heightened health and environmental risks due to limited access to clean water as well as sewage overflow, infrastructure damage, lack of hygiene items and fuel shortages,” OHCA said.

Aid partners are reporting that Khan Younis has no functioning sewing pumping stations which has forced displaced families to create makeshift toilets.