Hamas tells Gazans to reject Israel’s evacuation order
Hamas has called on residents of Gaza to reject Israel’s warnings to evacuate south from the northern part of the densely populated enclave.
It comes after Israeli armed forces confirmed the order to evacuate northern Gaza within 24 hours that was shared by the U.N. late Thursday.
In a statement released Friday, the political wing of Hamas told the people of Gaza to ignore the warnings to leave their homes and move south, accusing Israel of using “psychological warfare” against Gazans.
Meanwhile Gaza’s ministry of interior and national security also told residents of Gaza to “not to respond to the audio recordings that the occupation randomly distributes to mobile numbers.” It told people who feel in direct danger of air strikes to “move to an alternative home or go to the nearest shelter center to your place of residence until the danger passes.”
Israeli military orders northern Gaza residents to evacuate south
The Israeli military has ordered all residents of northern Gaza to evacuate to the south of the densely populated enclave, a move that will raise fears of an imminent ground offensive in the war against Hamas.
The United Nations said it had been told that the warning, which it said covered some 1.1 million people, needed to be carried out within 24 hours. It was “impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences,” said Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the U.N. secretary-general.
The order, which includes Gaza City, was delivered in order to “minimize the damage to civilians,”, Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said in a video livestream. He did not provide a timeframe for the order to be carried out.