The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continue to shut down the Rafah border crossing and the Karem Abu Salem commercial crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, for the 16th consecutive day, amid warnings of a humanitarian catastrophe.

On May 7, the IOF occupied the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing and stopped the flow of aid to the Gaza Strip, Palestinian news agency (Wafa) reported, adding that, since May 5, the IOF has also shut down the Karem Abu Salem commercial crossing southeast of Rafah, preventing the entry of humanitarian and medical aid.

According to press sources, the IOF has been preventing the entry of more than 3,000 aid trucks into the Gaza Strip ever since it shut down the two crossings in early May. The IOF has also prevented about 700 sick and wounded Palestinians from leaving the besieged Gaza Strip to get medical treatment.

World Food Programme (WFP) stressed the need for safe and sustainable access to aid to prevent famine in the northern Gaza Strip, yet Israeli evacuation orders prevent this.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) warned that failure to open land crossings and safe access to them portends the continuation of catastrophic humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip.

There were about 1.4 million displaced Palestinians in Rafah. The Israeli occupation had forcibly displaced these people after having claimed that Rafah would be a safe zone. Yet, after civilians moved to Rafah, the IOF launched a ground attack and intense air strikes, murdering hundreds of Palestinians and wounding many others.

UNRWA emphasized that, every time families are displaced, their lives are exposed to serious danger, and they are forced to leave everything behind in search of safety, except that, there are no safe areas in the Gaza Strip anymore.
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