Nowhere Safe in Gaza as Israeli Evacuation Order Risks Civilians Amid Air Strikes, UN Warns

Sat Dec 23 2023
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GAZA CITY: The Israeli army has issued an evacuation order for Palestinian civilians in the central Gaza Strip, directing them to relocate to areas subjected to continuous Israeli air strikes. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) has expressed deep concern, emphasizing that the latest directive leaves the affected population with no safe havens.

Issued on Friday, the evacuation order specifically targets residents in the Bureij refugee camp and surrounding areas, instructing them to “leave immediately for their own security” and move towards Deir al-Balah city in the south.

Thomas White, Gaza director for UNRWA, voiced his distress on social media, stating, “People in Gaza are people. They are not pieces on a checkerboard—many have already been displaced several times. The Israeli army just orders people to move into areas where there are ongoing air strikes. No place is safe, nowhere to go.”

Israel’s Evacuation Order to Affect Over 150,000 Palestinians in Gaza

Thousands of Palestinians heeded the evacuation order on Friday, fleeing from the central Gaza Strip to the south. UNRWA estimates that more than 150,000 people will be affected by this directive. The humanitarian situation in the region has already reached a critical point, with an estimated 1.9 million Palestinians having been displaced by the conflict, according to the UN.

The hostilities started on October 7 when the Palestinian resistance group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel.

In response, Israel launched a relentless bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza, with the latest toll from the territory’s government indicating that more than 20,057 people, mostly women and children, have been killed since October 7.

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