Israel’s military has warned people in northern Gaza to leave the area. This could be a signal that Israel will be launching a ground invasion of Palestine, which a United Nations spokesperson said would be impossible without “devastating humanitarian consequences.”
The area to be evacuated includes Gaza City and some 1.1. million people, according to an IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) spokesperson and Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the U.N. Secretary-General. A ground offensive has not been announced. IDF Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said in a video livestream Friday that civilians were being asked to leave for their own safety, according to a report by NBC News.
Israel has been preparing to invade Palestine for a few days now so the evacuation warning doesn’t come as a surprise. What is surprising is that Hamas has told those 1.1 million residents to stay put when Israel has shown (unlike Russia) that it will follow through on its threats.
As crucial supplies dwindle in Gaza, the health system is on the brink of collapse. Israel has said its “complete siege” will not be lifted until Hamas releases the 100 to 150 people estimated to have been taken hostage. As of right now, Hamas has not declared their intent to return any captives.
“Time is running out to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe if fuel and life-saving health and humanitarian supplies cannot be urgently delivered,” the organization said. It said it has documented the deaths of 11 health workers on duty in attacks on Gaza.
Today is also the “day of Jihad” in calls for solidarity with the Palestinians.
A ground invasion, or another attack today on the “day of Jihad” would certainly shoot this war to another level, especially if an attack occurs outside of the Middle East.
Today would be a great day to practice situational awareness and be ready for whatever you can.