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Israel Orders Civilians To Evacuate Gaza Within 24 hours

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The Israeli military, responding to a catastrophic onslaught by the Islamist organisation Hamas, ordered Gaza City’s over a million population to go south within 24 hours on Friday as it gathered tanks for an anticipated ground invasion.

With electricity supplies cut off and food and water in the Palestinian enclave running low following a week of retaliatory air attacks and an Israeli siege, the United Nations declared that evacuation of all residents was not feasible.

Top US officials are travelling to Israel and other locations for urgent discussions because of concerns that the crisis may escalate further. Iran has threatened to retaliate against its supporters, who include Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Around the world, pro-Palestinian demonstrations were scheduled, and in certain areas, Jewish communities were afraid they may be the target of Hamas’s historic strikes within Israel after last weekend’s attack, which claimed the lives of over 1,300 people, the majority of them civilians.

“We are ready to join the fight and rid the Palestinians of the Israeli atrocities,” said Muntadhar Kareem, 25, who was protesting among thousands of Iraqis in Baghdad.

One day after Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant declared that “now is a time for war,” the Israeli military promised to conduct “significant” operations in the near future.

“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,” said the military which accused Hamas of taking shelter in and under civilian buildings.

There was little evidence of residents departing on Friday morning, despite a Hamas spokesperson warning inhabitants not to believe what it dubbed “fake propaganda”.

Over 1,500 Palestinians have already lost their lives in retaliatory strikes in Gaza, which the Israelis are allegedly attempting to totally demolish, according to the Palestinian envoy to Japan.

A significant portion of the populace is derived from refugees who were driven from their homes in 1948, when Israel was founded.

Reuters was informed by Gaza expert Talal Okal that “Today Israel is repeating this before the eyes of the world.”

Israel claims that because of the horrifying attack on its civilian population, it must destroy the militant organisation and order everyone else to make way. Weapons storage depots, military complexes, residences of top operators, and tunnels used by Hamas were among 750 military targets struck overnight, it said.

Israel responded sharply to the UN’s assertion that its demand that Gazan residents evacuate could not be carried out “without devastating humanitarian consequences” and that it should instead denounce Hamas and uphold Israel’s right to self-defense.

There is significant risk associated with a land assault of the 2.3 million-person, small, and heavily populated Gaza Strip, since Hamas has threatened to execute its captives.

Dozens of Palestinians gathered outside the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, pledging to remain put, hours after the Israeli evacuation call. There were no evidence that anybody was fleeing the city.

Palestinians in the enclave’s centre and southern regions, where civilians were supposed to evacuate, reported that airstrikes had struck such areas overnight and the central regions early on Friday.

According to the UN humanitarian office (OCHA), 23 relief workers had been murdered and over 400,000 people had left their homes in Gaza. It stated, “Mass displacement continues.”

UNRWA, the UN Palestinian refugee agency, asked Israel to spare its shelters and announced that it had relocated its international personnel and central operations headquarters to the southern part of Gaza.

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