The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) told one million residents of northern Gaza to leave their homes and evacuate southward, beyond Wadi Gaza, a local river, for the duration of the war.
IDF Spokesperson Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan Conricus gave an update at 7:20 a.m. Friday morning local time, confirming that Israel had delivered messages to local residents, and had informed the United Nations.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) October 13, 2023
One million people is roughly half the population of the Gaza Strip as a whole.
The Times of Israel reported that Israel gave residents 24 hours to leave, and that the UN responded with incredulity: “The United Nations considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences.”
In response, Israel’s UN ambassador, Gilad Erdan condemned the UN:
Hitting back, Erdan says, “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 minimize harm to non-combatants, it preaches specifically to Israel,” Erdan says.
“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 adds.
Egypt has refused to allow large numbers of Gaza residents to leave the Strip, and has urged them to stay. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Hamas was reluctant to allow civilians to leave because it did not want them to do so permanently.
Conricus said that residents would be allowed to return when the war was over, but should not attempt to do so before then.
The warning marks the imminent start of a ground invasion, six days after Palestinian Hamas terrorists launched a massive attack after breaching the border, murdering 1,300 Israelis, wounding 3,000 more, and kidnapping more than 100 on the Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret.
Conricus concluded that Israel was “fully committed to the law of international conflict … in sharp contrast to the enemies around us and to Hamas.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.