Immediate ceasefire demanded as 600,000 people flee Rafah

A UN agency says the Israeli military operation in Rafah, the southern Gaza Strip, has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Palestinians in Ramallah in the West Bank took to the streets to call for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said on Wednesday that an estimated 600,000 people have had to evacuate from Rafah following the Israeli operation that started on May 6.

Israeli media reported on Thursday that the Israel Defense Forces deployed an additional brigade to Rafah overnight. The report said the move comes as the Israeli government is expected to approve widening the offensive in the city.

The Israeli military is also continuing its offensive in northern and southern Gaza.

The human rights group Amnesty International and other NGOs issued a statement on Wednesday saying that further advancement of the military invasion of Rafah "will lead to the total collapse of lifesaving services."

The statement urged all states to "act now to ensure an immediate and sustained ceasefire."

Also on Wednesday, thousands of Palestinians in Ramallah in the West Bank joined a demonstration to mark the 76th anniversary of Nakba, their mass expulsion from what is now Israel.

Participants called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, as well as for the right to return to their land.

One of the participants said that seeing the level of devastation in Gaza, it is "obvious" that Israel is making the strip uninhabitable. He said it's a new "Nakba."