Gaza: faced with fear of an Israeli assault, refugees leave Rafah

The Israeli authorities and Palestinian Hamas continue their negotiations with a view to a truce in Gaza.

After Paris, discussions resumed in Qatar this Sunday.

But in the meantime, the fighting continues.

Israel has threatened to launch an assault on Rafah, a town in the far south of the Palestinian enclave where more than a million displaced people had found refuge.

As the fighting moves closer to Rafah and fear of an offensive grows, some of these displaced people have chosen to return home.

Gazans flee Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, in fear of Israeli bombings.

Here, internally displaced people flee the town of Khan Younès, January 29, 2024 (Illustrative image).

AP - Fatima Shbair

By: RFI Follow


Read more

With our special correspondents in Jerusalem,

Guilhem Delteil


Nicolas Benita

For two months, Saed Mgharee, his parents, his sisters and his brother lived in Rafah.

But they returned home to the central Gaza Strip two weeks ago when they felt threatened by Israeli raids.

There was a lot of bombing near us.

It was very, very close.

And we left after a horrible night in Rafah

 ,” says Saed. 

Saed Mgharee and his family moved back into a partially destroyed house.

We don't really have a choice.

There are no windows, no doors.

But we try to do what we can, we cover the windows to try to combat the cold in the house

,” he continues. 

“There is no safe place in Gaza”

The feeling of security is no greater in central Gaza than in Rafah.

On Friday, two buildings were bombed and 50 people killed

,” he said.

But many chose to return despite everything: in Rafah, living conditions were very harsh. “

There is no safe place in Gaza.

Neither the north nor the south.

We all lived in unimaginable conditions.

Tents, unsanitary apartments.

We suffered a lot.


Now, Saed Mgharee dreams of leaving Gaza with his family.

Even if it means taking the risk of never coming back. “

I want to get back to working with my clients.

I want a normal life.

I want to be safe with my family.

» But getting six people out costs $30,000 to pay to the Egyptian authorities, and now without income, Saed Mgharee can only place his hopes in international generosity.

He launched a campaign on an online fundraiser.

Also read: Gaza: in Rafah, “if we go to Sinai, we will never be able to return”

Saed Mgharee and his family left Rafah when Israeli bombardments increased in intensity around this city where more than a million Gazans had taken refuge since the start of the war.

“There is no safe place in Gaza,” he said.

© Saed Mgharee


Receive all the international news directly in your inbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application

Share :

Continue reading on the same themes:

  • Israel

  • Palestinian territories

  • Israelo-Palestinian conflict