Bob Kitchen, the IRC Vice President of Emergencies, said:

"The dire warnings of aid groups have materialised: Israeli forces have launched a ground incursion into eastern Rafah and have taken control of the Palestinian side of the border crossing. Over a million civilians are now in imminent danger and aid flow through the Rafah crossing has halted with no aid trucks entering since May 5. Already, dozens of civilians are reported to have been killed in overnight Israeli airstrikes on Rafah City, while hundreds of thousands more remain at grave risk from the threat of further conflict and a lack of access to life-saving assistance. It is unconscionable to target such a densely populated area, leaving 1.3 million people with no safe haven. The IRC urgently calls on Israel to halt further violence in Rafah and across the Gaza strip, and for all parties to agree to an immediate and permanent ceasefire. The international community must wield all diplomatic influence at its disposal to bring the parties to an agreement and halt the humanitarian tragedy underway in Rafah.”

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) have deployed six successive Emergency Medical Teams to provide emergency and life-saving medical care, including direct medical care at hospitals, and the distribution of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. Our teams have also procured or released vital pharmaceuticals and medical supplies which the IRC and our partners are distributing to support health facilities across Gaza. Meanwhile, the IRC is supporting partners to provide mental health and psychosocial support in shelters, as well as cash assistance to help people meet their basic needs.