The Israeli military has warned residents of the northern part of the Gaza Strip that they may be considered “accomplices of a terrorist organization” if they do not evacuate to the south, Reuters reported, citing local Palestinians. Meanwhile, humanitarian aid is starting to arrive in the Gaza Strip.
More than a million people lived in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Hundreds of thousands of people fled south to hide in temporary shelters despite relentless air and artillery attacks that also hit those areas, Reuters reported.
Dropped leaflets and voice notifications
News began reaching Gaza residents on Saturday. These included leaflets dropped by air and marked with the symbol of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), as well as notifications sent to mobile phones.
In leaflets, Israeli forces warned that if “anyone decides not to leave the north of Gaza and does not go south (of the Wadi Gaza stream), he may be considered an accomplice of the terrorist organization (Hamas).”
Though Israel has already appealed to the Palestinians to move south, without previously being told that otherwise they would be considered accomplices of “terrorists”, Reuters reported.
Calls for evacuation to the south of the Gaza Strip do not mean that it is safe there. Reuters reported that the funerals of seven members of the same family who died in overnight airstrikes were held in the city of Khan Yunus.
Humanitarian aid arriving
The first deliveries of humanitarian aid reached the Gaza Strip on Saturday, after two weeks of blockade by the Israeli side.
On Saturday, 20 trucks arrived there, carrying medicines, medical supplies and food. On Sunday, 17 trucks carrying humanitarian aid arrived in Hamas-controlled territory.
To the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing on the border with Egypt six fuel tankers also arrived. Earlier, UNICEF warned that the lack of fuel threatens, among others, functioning of hospitals in this enclave, including incubators for over 120 premature babies.
The Israeli army issued the first appeal to evacuate the inhabitants of Gaza City in October. The army’s statement stated that they had 24 hours to evacuate to the south of the Gaza Strip.
Reuters reported at the time that the army was to “continue significant operations” in the city in retaliation for the Palestinian attack. Hamas said the evacuation call was a “propaganda message” from Israel and ordered civilians to stay home.
Main photo source: HAITHAM IMAD/PAP/EPA