Israeli military aircraft dropped thousands of leaflets on the northern Gaza Strip on Friday warning residents of that part of the Palestinian territory to. The Israeli military informed the United Nations late Thursday that the entire population in northern Gaza should be evacuated to the south almost immediately.
Stephane Dujarric, a U.N. spokesman, told CBS News that liaison officers with the Israel Defense Forces informed the U.N. just before midnight Gaza time Thursday that the entire population north of Wadi Gaza should “relocate to southern Gaza within the next 24 hours.”
According to the UN, about 1.1. million people live in northern Gaza, the most densely populated part of the territory.
The UN “considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences,” Dujarric said, and “strongly appeals that any such order, if confirmed, be revoked to avoid what could transform an already tragedy into disaster. situation.”
The UN’s response “to Israel’s early warning to the people of Gaza,” said Israel’s UN ambassador Gilad Erdan, was “shameful” and ignores the brutality of the attack on Israel.
Early Friday local time, IDF ordered hundreds of thousands of residents of Gaza City to move further south in the Gaza Strip for their “own security”.
In response, Hamas called on Palestinians to stay in their homes, according to The Associated Press.
“It’s chaos, nobody understands what to do,” the AP quoted Inas Hamdan, an officer of the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency in Gaza City, as saying.
The order comes as Israel continues relentless airstrikes on the Gaza Strip in the wake of Saturday’s terror attacks by Hamas and prepares for an expected ground invasion of Gaza.
“Do not return to your homes until further notice is given by the Israel Defense Forces,” Israeli leaflets warned Palestinians, who have few options for escape, adding that “all known and public shelters in Gaza City must be evacuated.”
The leaflets warned that anyone in Gaza who approached the security fence that separates it from Israel was at risk of death.
According to latest numbers At least 338,000 Gazans have been displaced by the UN since Hamas invaded southern Israel on October 7, and prompting Israeli retaliatory airstrikes on Gaza.
Around 300,000 Israeli soldiers have gathered outside the borders of the Gaza Strip. International spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, did not specifically say on Wednesday that Israel was preparing a ground attack on Gaza, but noted that troops, along with tanks, armored vehicles and other artillery, “are making preparations for the next phase of the war, which will come when the timing is right.” and will be suitable for our purposes.”
Israeli officials said Thursday that at least 1,300 people were killed and at least 2,800 others wounded in the Hamas invasion.
At least 1537was killed in Israeli counterattacks, including 500 children, and another 6,600 were injured, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
Since the Hamas invasion, Israel has instituted a total blockade of Gaza with no food, water, gas, medicine or electricity allowed, bringing the region to the brink of a humanitarian crisis.
— Jordan Freiman contributed to this report.