Israeli military officials released evacuation warnings to the residents of northern Gaza on Friday morning, suggesting that an awaiting ground offensive may commence this weekend.
“Civilians of Gaza City, evacuate south for your own safety and the safety of your families,” the IDF said.
Hamas officials said in a statement that the evacuation notice given by the IDF is “fake propaganda” and urged Palestinians not to “fall for it.”
U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric responded to the instructions by saying, “the United Nations considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences,” before asking that the order be rescinded.
The U.N., which administers a significant amount of the social services in the coastal enclave, would most likely play a large role in the logistics of such an operation.
Israeli military spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, told reporters on Thursday that the IDF is “preparing for a ground maneuver.”