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Some 13,000 Refugees Evacuated from Three Camps

The thinning out of the refugee camps in the Gaza Strip has come to the end of its first phase, with some 13,300 refugees having been evacuated from three main camps–Jebaliyah, Shatti and Raffah–since construction of security roads began several weeks ago. Most of the evacuees have found new quarters on their own, several hundred families obtained apartments through the Israeli authorities. An additional government decision is needed before the second phase of the operation can proceed, as it would entail a large expenditure. That phase would make the camps more secure and accessible. When the project was begun, the evacuation of 70,000 refugees was envisaged.