Israel military tells north Gaza residents to evacuate, with counterattack on Hamas expected
This order applies to United Nations staff and those sheltered in UN facilities such as schools and clinics.
The Israel Defense Forces called on roughly 1 million people living in northern Gaza to evacuate their homes as the country is expected to launch a retaliatory offensive against Hamas.
“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 military group said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war following the attack by Hamas on his country Saturday, killing over a thousand people.
“In the following days, the IDF will continue to operate significantly in Gaza City and make extensive efforts to avoid harming civilians," also according to a statement issued early Friday.
The order applies to United Nations staff and those sheltered in UN facilities such as schools and clinics that work to help after the attack and amid the ensuing fighting between the sides.
The UN pushed back on the call for millions living in Gaza to evacuate their homes, arguing it wouldn't be “without devastating humanitarian consequences," according to CNN.
A spokesperson for the UN Secretary General, Stephane Dujarric, said the organization “strongly appeals for any such order, if confirmed, to be rescinded avoiding what could transform what is already a tragedy into a calamitous situation.”
The IDF has accused Hamas of "hiding behind the people of Gaza" and says such a tactic is “just another example” of how Hamas “does not care about the safety of people."