UN says 800,000 'forced to flee' Rafah in southern Gaza

The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees says around 800,000 people have been forced to flee Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip since Israel started its military operation in the area on May 6.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini wrote on social media on Saturday that the evacuees do not have safe water supplies or sanitation facilities.

He warned that any further escalation in the fighting will only wreak more havoc on civilians.

The Israeli military is continuing its attacks against Hamas in Rafah. Israel has hinted at sending more troops to step up the offensive.

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is set to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel on Sunday.

Sullivan is expected to try to dissuade Israel from pursuing a massive ground operation and to urge the country to only target senior Hamas members.

The focus is on whether further civilian casualties and deterioration of the humanitarian situation can be avoided.