UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA said, today, that more than 30,000 people have fled their homes to take shelter in the 34 UNRWA schools that are located across the Gaza Strip, since Thursday.Previously, UNRWA had estimated that 20,000 Palestinians had sought refuge with them, but that the number has now more than doubled since Israel launched its ground assault on northern and southern Gaza.
Multiple evacuation orders have been issued across the northern Gaza Strip since the conflict began, telling 100,000 Palestinians to leave their homes in compliance with the operation, according to Ma’an.
However, as all borders are closed, Gazans have nowhere to go.
Additionally, Israel has said that all those who remain in their homes will be considered potential targets.
Ma’an further reports that, prior to the conflict, more than half of the Gaza Strip’s 1.7 million inhabitants were classified as refugees, being forced from their original homes inside what is now Israel, by nationalist forces, in 1948.
As of January 2014, there were approximately 5.4 million Palestinians registered as refugees in various parts of the world, according to UNRWA. Palestinians make up the largest refugee group in the entire world.
At the time of this report, nearly 300 people have been reported killed, and over 2,000 wounded by military strikes which continue to bombard Palestinians by land, air and sea.
Related: Thousands of Palestinians Seek Refuge at UNRWA Schools
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip, and continues into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.