The UN spokesperson said the organisation ‘considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences’The United Nations has said the Israeli Defence Forces have warned 1.1 million Palestinians in northern Gaza to evacuate within 24 hours.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) notified the UN at midnight on Friday that the entire Palestinian population north of Wadi Gaza should relocate to Southern Gaza within 24 hours.A UN spokesperson said the warning was delivered to team leaders of the UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the UN’s Department of Safety and Security in Gaza by their liaison officers in the IDF.

The warning indicated that the IDF might be preparing to launch a ground invasion after six days of aerial attack in response to a surprise and unprecedented Hamas onslaught on Saturday (October 7).The UN spokesperson said the organisation “considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences.”

“The United Nations strongly appeals for any such order, if confirmed, to be rescinded avoiding what could transform what is already a tragedy into a calamitous situation,” the spokesperson added.Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan tears into the UN over the latter’s response to IDF warning that 1.1 million Palestinians living north of Wadi Gaza to evacuate by midnight on Saturday.

Attacking the UN, Erdan said: “The UN’s response to Israel’s early warning to the residents of Gaza is a disgrace! For many years, the UN turned a blind eye to the arming of Hamas and its use of civilian populations and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip for murder and for stockpiling its weapons.”

“Now, instead of standing with Israel whose citizens were slaughtered by Hamas terrorists and which still tries to minimise harm to non-combatants, it preaches specifically to Israel,” he said.“It would be better for the UN to focus now on returning the captives, condemning Hamas and supporting Israel’s right to defend itself,” he said.

According to a Reuters report, a Hamas official said the UN statement warning that Israel has told people in northern Gaza to leave to the south of the enclave is “fake propaganda”, and urged Palestinians in Gaza not to fall for it.It is worth mentioning that Israel has already imposed a complete siege on Gaza – shutting off water, power and gas, shuttering its own border crossings into the enclave, and bombing Egypt’s Rafah crossing, temporarily rendering it unusable as well.