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Egypt warns against Israel call for Gaza residents to head south

October 13, 2023 at 7:15 pm

Palestinians with their belongings leave Gaza City as they flee from their homes following the Israeli army’s warning on October 13, 2023 [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images]

Egypt, on Friday, warned against the Israeli call for Palestinians in the north of Gaza to leave their homes and move south, Anadolu Agency reports.

The measure constitutes a “grave violation of the rules of international humanitarian law,” an Egyptian Foreign Ministry statement said.

It said that the measure “will expose the lives of more than 1 million Palestinian citizens and their families to the dangers of remaining in the open without shelter.”

The Ministry called on the Israeli government to “refrain from taking such escalatory steps, as they will have serious repercussions on the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.”

Egypt also called on the UN and other international organisations to intervene to prevent further escalation that would have “unforeseen consequences” in the Gaza Strip.

Earlier, Israel called on more than 1 million Palestinians in north Gaza to move south within 24 hours.

READ: Spain’s deputy PM urges Europe to help stop ‘massacre’ in Gaza

In a dramatic escalation of Middle East tensions, Israeli forces launched a sustained and forceful military campaign against the Gaza Strip, a response to a military offensive by the Palestinian group, Hamas, in Israeli territories.

The conflict began on Saturday when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel, a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea and air.

Hamas said the operation was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.

The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip. Israel’s response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening the living conditions in an area that has reeled under a crippling siege since 2007.