BREAKING: After #Israel’s Warning, Thousands Of #Palestinians Flee To South #Gaza As Israel-Hamas War Continues [VIDEO]—Palestinians began a mass exodus from northern Gaza Friday after Israel’s military told some 1 million people to evacuate toward the southern part of the besieged territory, an unprecedented order ahead of an expected ground invasion against the ruling Hamas militant group.
The U.N. warned that so many people fleeing en masse — almost half the Gaza population — would be calamitous. Hamas, which staged a shocking and brutal attack on Israel nearly a week ago and has fired thousands of rockets since, dismissed the evacuation order as a ploy and called on people to stay in their homes.
The evacuation order, which applies to Gaza City, home to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, sparked widespread panic among civilians and aid workers already running from Israeli airstrikes and contending with a total siege of Gaza. Israel has cut off all food, water and supplies and caused a territory-wide blackout.
“Forget about food, forget about electricity, forget about fuel. The only concern now is just if you’ll make it, if you’re going to live,” said Nebal Farsakh, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent in Gaza City, as she broke into heaving sobs.
The war has already claimed over 3,000 lives on both sides and sent tensions soaring across the region. Israel has traded fire in recent days with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, sparking fears of an ever wider conflict, though that frontier is currently calm.