Rafah, Gaza Strip is currently home to 1.5 million Palestinians, the majority of whom have been displaced from other parts of Gaza during the Israeli assault on the enclave. Despite being designated a “safe zone” by Israel, the threat of a ground invasion has left the population trapped and terrified with nowhere else to go.
This is part of a pattern where Israel designates areas as “safe zones” only to later attack them, forcing people to flee multiple times. International condemnation has not deterred Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s determination to continue the assault on Gaza in order to “finish Hamas”.
Residents of Rafah, such as Umm al-Abed Fayyad and Asaad Hassan, have been displaced multiple times and are determined to remain in Rafah despite the threats. The majority of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have been forced from their homes, with infrastructure demolished and casualties in the tens of thousands.
Many residents feel that there is nowhere else for them to go. The fear of a humanitarian disaster and potential massacres looms large over the city. The situation has led some, like journalist Alaa Salameh, to call for global pressure to prevent further tragedies from occurring.
The population of Rafah is bracing itself for the worst as they face the possibility of an Israeli invasion, in the hopes that they can withstand the assault and remain in their homes.