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1.9 million Gazans are now homeless

I came across this claim in this tweet that says, "90% of Palestinians in Gaza are now displaced and homeless, that's over 1.9 million people! ...". Searching for it online, the first result lead me to this YouTube video repeating this claim - 90% of Gaza is homeless. An Huffpost article on Yahoo News says:

Roughly 90% of the Gazan population is now displaced. Aid, food and clean water are scarce, and people are unable to find shelter as Israeli bombardment continues to rain on civilians.

The Seattle Times repeats something similar:

About 90% of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been displaced within the besieged territory, where United Nations agencies say there is no safe place to flee.

(I've also come across a news article mentioning "70% are homeless" and another saying "80% are displaced and homeless").

Many media article seem to be repeating this claim but do not mention the source. What is the original source of this claim? Which figure is the most accurate?

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The original source is likely the United Nations Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which produces regular reports on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. To quote from the most recent at time of answering:

  • [...]Since 7 October 2023, up to 1.9 million people (or over 85 per cent of the population) have been displaced across the Gaza Strip, some multiple times. Families are forced to move repeatedly in search of safety. Following intense Israeli bombardments and fighting in the middle areas, more than half of the IDPs (approximately 270,000) have moved again further south. Due to the security situation tracking the latest IDP movements is becoming increasingly difficult.
  • As of 12 January, nearly 1.4 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are sheltering in 154 UNRWA facilities across all five governorates of the Gaza Strip, including 160,000 in the north and Gaza City, and more than 500,000 are in close vicinity of these installations and receiving assistance from UNRWA. A total of 1.9 million IDPs are receiving assistance from UNRWA. Significant population movements towards the south continue.

Based on these statements, this figure seems to be based on the direct knowledge of the agency due to the fact that they are providing assistance to the people in question.

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    You do have to interpret "up to". Does it mean nearly?
    – Simd
    Jan 19 at 11:42
  • Note that being displaced does not mean that your house was actually destroyed. It's very likely though, i.e. tens-of-percentage-points probability if you're from Gaza city or the northern strip.
    – einpoklum
    Jan 21 at 23:39

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