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The Israeli Armed Forces (IDF) ordered, this Friday (13), the evacuation within 24 hours of the north of the Gaza Strip. The area has approximately 1.1 million inhabitants and includes Gaza City.

The IDF order is generating fear in the international community, including the United Nations (UN), which warns of a possible humanitarian disaster in the action.

“The United Nations considers it impossible for such a move to occur without devastating humanitarian consequences,” reads a statement from the UN Secretary-General’s spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric.

“The UN strongly urges that any order of this type, if confirmed, be rescinded, avoiding what could transform what is already a tragedy into a calamitous situation,” he concluded.

The evacuation, according to the Israeli army, applies not only to all civilians north of Gaza, but also to UN employees and people sheltering in United Nations facilities (schools and hospitals, including).

The decision indicates a large-scale ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, which has 35 battalions surrounding the containment walls, according to the Israeli army.

According to Major Roni Kaplan, spokesperson for the IDF reservists, around 300,000 soldiers are on standby for the ground incursion into Gaza. “We will be ready if Israel’s democratic government decides to take this action,” he said.

The evacuation order triggered a wave of fear, according to broadcaster reports Al Jazeera, which operates inside Gaza. “This is chaos, no one knows what to do,” Inas Hamdan, an official with the UN agency for Palestinian refugees in Gaza City, told the Associated Press.

Nebal Farsakh, spokesman for the Red Cross in Gaza, says there is no way to safely move more than a million people so quickly: “Forget the food, forget the electricity, forget the fuel. The only concern now is whether you will make it, whether you will live,” Farsakh said.

“What will happen to our patients? We have injured people, we have elderly people, we have children who are in hospitals,” she warned.

An important geopolitical actor in the region, Turkey denounced the Israeli evacuation orders, classifying them as “completely unacceptable”.

“Forcing the 2.5 million people of Gaza – who have been subjected to indiscriminate bombardment for days and who have been deprived of electricity, water and food – to migrate to an extremely limited area is a clear violation of international law” and has no place in humanity”, announced President Recep Erdoğan.

“We hope that Israel will immediately reverse this serious error and urgently stop its merciless acts against civilians in Gaza,” he concluded.


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