Following Hamas’ deadly attack last Saturday against Israel which saw over 1,300 dead (mostly civilians) Israel has ordered over 1,000,000 Palestinians, which is 50% of the population in that part of the territory, to evacuate northern Gaza in just 24 hours, the BBC reports.
This evacuation order coincides with a massive build up of over 300,000 thousand Israeli troops on the border of Gaza ahead of an expected ground invasion.
Several days of airstrikes against Gaza since the attack, have left over 1,900 Palestinians dead including 600 children.
The Israeli evacuation order directs Palestinian civilians to flee south of the area called Wadi Gaza while Hamas claims this is Israeli propaganda and should be ignored.
According to Reuters, Israel’s UN ambassador, Gildan Erdan, said the evacuation directive from Israel should be recognized as it is part of his country’s standing policy to avoid civilian casualties.
In response, the Palestinian envoy to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said Friday that Israel’s evacuation call in Gaza amounts to ethnic cleansing and that there is currently no safe place in Gaza.
The UN secretary General, António Guterres, has reminded both sides to protect civilians and that even war has rules. “…civilians must be protected and also never used as shields.”
The BBC video report is below: