Israel has given a 24-hour deadline for everyone — more than 1.1 million people — to get out of northern Gaza, UN says – DAVID RAUDALES

DAVID RAUDALES

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DAVID RAUDALES UK

Israel has given a 24-hour deadline for everyone — more than 1.1 million people — to get out of northern Gaza, UN says

Smoke rises after Israeli airstrike in Gaza Strip on October 09, 2023.

Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Israel Defense Forces on Thursday evening told the people of northern Gaza to evacuate.
According to the United Nations, everyone in the area — 1.1 million people — has 24 hours to leave.
The evacuation order comes ahead of an anticipated Israeli ground offensive in Gaza.

Israel has told everyone in the northern Gaza Strip to evacuate south in 24 hours, the United Nations said on Thursday.

The Israeli military gave its evacuation recommendation to the UN around midnight on Thursday evening, UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told AxiosCNN, and The New York Times.

The UN was informed that “the entire population of Gaza north of Wadi Gaza should relocate to southern Gaza within the next 24 hours,” per Dujarric. 

A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces confirmed to Insider that an evacuation announcement had been relayed to civilians in Gaza City. However, the IDF’s statement did not specify a 24-hour deadline.

“Civilians of Gaza City, evacuate south for your own safety and the safety of your families and distance yourself from Hamas terrorists who are using you as human shields,” the announcement said.

“In the following days, the IDF will continue to operate significantly in Gaza City and make extensive efforts to avoid harming civilians,” it added.

The announcement also called for civilians to “move to the area south of the Wadi Gaza.”

In his statement to the media, Dujarric said that around 1.1 million people live in the area that the IDF has called to evacuate.

The same order applies to all UN staff and those sheltered in UN facilities — “including schools, health centers, and clinics,” Dujarric told the Axios. 

If such an order is confirmed, the UN “strongly appeals” for it to be rescinded, concerned that it “could transform what is already a tragedy into a calamitous situation,” Dujarric said.

“The United Nations considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences,” Dujarric added.

Israel may be gearing up to mount a mass ground offensive in the Gaza Strip and has mobilized around 300,000 reservists from around the world.

Meanwhile, the IDF has pounded the Gaza Strip with repeated air strikes in retaliation to a series of surprise attacks on October 7 by Hamas militants on Israeli towns. 

The Hamas attacks killed around 1,200 Israelis and injured 3,000 more, the Israel Defense Forces said on Thursday.

Separately, the Israeli Air Force said on Thursday that it had dropped 6,000 bombs in the Gaza Strip over the last six days. At least 1,537 Palestinians have been killed, while 6,612 others were injured by Israeli strikes since October 7, the Palestinian Health Ministry said on Thursday evening.

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