Israel gives 24 hours to evacuate 1.1m northern Gaza population, UK says its self defence

By Nadine Osman

(The Muslim News): Israel gives 24 hours to evacuate entire 1.1 million northern Gaza population

Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres, announced that the IDF informed the UN before midnight Gaza time Thursday that the entire population north of Wadi Gaza should “relocate to southern Gaza within the next 24 hours.”

The U.N. “considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences,” Dujarric said, and it “strongly appeals for any such order, if confirmed, to be rescinded, avoiding what could transform what is already a tragedy into a calamitous situation.”

Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit branded the Israeli order a “forced transfer” that he said constitutes a “crime”, while the Secretary General of the pan-Arab body, in a letter sent to UN chief Guterres, accused Israel of carrying out “an atrocious act of revenge… punishing helpless civilians in Gaza”.

In contrast, the UK Defence Secretary has defended Israel’s decision to give just 24-hour notice for the evasion of over a million people.

Grant Shapps said Israel had done the right thing to give advance notice of the offensive, though he refused to say whether he thought it would be possible for so many people to leave their homes in such a short space of time.

Shapps was speaking after Rishi Sunak announced that British military ships and aircraft would be deployed to the region to help with “humanitarian efforts” and “track the movement of weapons”.

Shapps told the BBC’s Today programme on Friday: “Israel would say that they not only have been dropping leaflets, not only using a knock and rock technique, which is where a small and non-lethal, explosive goes up to warn people to move, but also, they have now issued these broader warnings of their intention. They are in a position where they have the right to defend themselves as a country.”

The Defence Secretary would not say, however, whether he thought the entire population of northern Gaza would be able to comply with the Israeli order to move south in the next 24 hours.

He said, “When Hamas went in the other way around, there weren’t any of these options; they went to just murder people. Now the option for Israel is either to just ignore this and allow it to happen again or actually deal with Hamas.”

Early Friday local time, the IDF ordered Gaza City’s hundreds of thousands of residents to move farther south in the Gaza Strip for their “own safety.”

In response, Hamas called on Palestinians to stay put in their homes, according to The Associated Press.

According to the latest numbers from the UN, at least 338,000 Gaza residents have been displaced since Hamas invaded southern Israel on October 7, prompting retaliatory airstrikes by Israel on Gaza.

About 300,000 Israeli soldiers have amassed outside the border of the Gaza Strip. An IDF international spokesperson on Wednesday did not explicitly confirm Israel was preparing a ground assault on Gaza but noted the troops were “making preparations for the next stage of the war, which will come when the timing is opportune and fit for our purposes.”

Israel evacuated 60 percent of the Sderot Israeli settlement near the Gaza Strip to central Israel.

The IDF’s foreign spokeswoman did not officially confirm a ground attack on Gaza on Wednesday, but did say the army were “making preparations for the next stage of the war.”

Israeli officials said Thursday that at least 1,300 people have been killed in the Hamas attack and at least 2,800 more wounded.

At least 1,537 Gaza residents have been killed in Israel’s counterattacks, including 500 children and another 6,600 wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Since the Hamas incursion, Israel has imposed a total embargo on Gaza, preventing the entry of food, water, gas, medication, or electricity.

[Photo: A doctor examines a child injured as a result of Israeli bombings at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 13 10 23. Photojournalist Abed Zagout AA]

The post Israel gives 24 hours to evacuate 1.1m northern Gaza population, UK says its self defence appeared first on The Muslim News.

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