AN UPDATE on developments in Rafah on 7 May, has been given by Elizabeth Funnell, Middle East representative for the aid agency CAFOD.

Ms Funnell ‘s updatde reads.“When I was speaking this morning (Tues 7 May) to CAFOD’s local partner in Gaza, they described the situation in Rafah as a ‘cut and paste’ kind of horror – families already traumatised from being moved four, even five times, are being torn apart again and forced from one shelter to another, with no safe haven in sight.

“Our partner’s local Rafah office had to be dismantled and moved several miles away, draining resources and precious time that should be spent getting essential aid to people who are starving. Fuel shortages further compound this crisis, with only two days’ supply remaining.

“There is nowhere left to host the people now being displaced from Rafah, and aid workers are facing impossible choices about whether to reopen damaged shelters that aren’t safe to house people.

“There is no way that a ground offensive in Rafah will be anything but catastrophic for civilians. With nearly 35,000 lives lost already, CAFOD is urging the UK to wake up to their complicity through arms sales to Israel, which must end now. The UK government must exert every diplomatic effort to halt the attack on Rafah, agree an immediate, permanent ceasefire which includes the release of all hostages, ensure aid access now and restore UK funding to UNRWA.”

* Source: Catholic Agency for Overseas Development