BBC Verify Examines Rafah’s Transformation into a Tent City with 1.5 Million Displaced Palestinians | BBC News

In a recent analysis of the ongoing conflict in Gaza, it has been revealed that the city of Rafah, near the border with Egypt, has seen a significant influx of displaced persons. Once home to 250,000 people, the population has surged to 1.5 million due to the displacement caused by the conflict. This has led to the rapid expansion of makeshift tent cities, as verified by satellite imagery and on-the-ground videos. Amidst the escalation of strikes in Rafah, concerns have been raised about the safety of civilians and the availability of safe evacuation routes.

  • Over the past four months, experts have mapped the damages to buildings in Gaza, with a noticeable shift of destruction from north to south.
  • Israeli forces have advised civilians to move south for safety, yet conflicts have followed these population movements.
  • Rafah, close to the Egyptian border, has become a focal point of the conflict, with hundreds of thousands displaced within Gaza.
  • Satellite images from October to January show the development of tent cities in Rafah, escalating its population from 250,000 in 2022 to 1.5 million.
  • Strikes on Rafah have intensified recently, with significant destruction documented near the site of a rescue operation for two Israeli hostages.
  • The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have released video footage purportedly showing the rescue operation.
  • International concern has grown over the humanitarian impact of the offensive and the lack of safe evacuation options for civilians.
  • The Rafah Crossing remains largely closed, and Israel has not yet outlined an evacuation plan in the event of a confirmed offensive in Rafah.

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