Israel military directs residents to evacuate northern Gaza along 2 paths, Hamas reportedly urges Gazans to stay put

Regional leaders and organisations have called the evacuation order unacceptable.

Tan Min-Wei | October 14, 2023, 10:16 PM

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Uncertainty continues in Gaza as the Israel Defense Forces' (IDF) evacuation deadline appeared to extend on Oct. 14.

Dual channel

The IDF had given a 24-hour deadline for residents of northern Gaza to evacuate, in anticipation of further military action in response to the Oct. 7 attack by the militant group Hamas in the south of Israel.

Hundreds were killed in the attack, with hundreds more taken hostage.

The IDF has been conducting a concerted campaign of airstrikes throughout the Gaza region, and has also called up over 360,000 IDF reservists in an anticipated ground invasion of parts of Gaza.

The death toll stands at over 1,300 deaths in Israel and over 1,900 deaths in Gaza so far according to Axios, but more are expected.

At 1:35 pm Singapore time, the IDF's Arab language spokesman issued a warning to the residents of Gaza City that there would a six hour period granted to facilitate evacuation along two roads leading south.

The spokesman said that movement would be allowed along the two roads indicated, and that residents could safely evacuate along those routes, urging residents to do so for their safety and the safety of their loved ones.

IDF social media has also shown videos of leaflets being dropped on civilian areas, warning them to evacuate. The IDF claims that Hamas militants are taking shelter in tunnels under buildings in the northern area of Gaza.

However, according to Al Jazeera, Hamas called the warning "fake propaganda". The Hamas Authority for Refugee Affairs told residents to "remain steadfast in your homes", urging them not evacuate.

Hamas has totally controlled the Gaza strip since it forced the Palestinian Authority from the territory in 2007.

The Gaza Strip is home to over two million Palestinians, and over 1.1 million of them reside north of Wadi Gaza, the line that the IDF has used.

Impossible task

However, several groups have protested that it was unrealistic to expect over a million Gazans to evacuate within 24 hours, especially as much of the infrastructure in the Gaza, both south and north, have been damaged in the most recent airstrike campaign.

Amnesty International has called for the evacuation order to be rescinded, saying that "Regardless of timeframe, Israel cannot treat northern Gaza as an open-fire zone based on having issued this order. Their forces have an obligation to take all feasible precautions to minimise harm to civilians wherever they are in Gaza. "

The sentiment was echoed by the United Nations, who called such a movement of people "impossible", as reported by Al Jazeera.

Israel has imposed a siege on Gaza following the attacks by Hamas out of Gaza, blocking electricity, water and fuel into the area.

Calls for humanitarian relief

World leaders have also expressed concern about the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.

United States President Joe Biden continued to voice his support for Israel, but was also quoted by the Associated Press as saying, "We can’t lose sight of the fact that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians had nothing to do Hamas".

He said that his administration was working with governments of Israel, Egypt, and other Arab nations to send urgently needed humanitarian relief.

Reuters reported that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan had labelled the human rights violations against Gazan civilians as "unacceptable".

Turkey's foreign ministry similarly called Israel's bombing campaign and blockade a "blatant breach of international law and inhumane".

Erdogan's government has offered to mediate between Hamas and Israel, and is supposedly holding talks with Hamas for the release of civilian prisoners.


The Times of Israel reported that initial ground raids have been conducted by the IDF on Oct. 13.

Such "localised raids" were used to eliminate targets such as anti-tank teams, but they have also recovered the bodies of hostages taken from Southern Israel during the Oct. 7 attack and its aftermath.

At time of writing, the 16:00 (Israeli time) Oct. 14 deadline had passed, but there has no clear indication of what next steps either the IDF would take, or Hamas' response.

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Top image via @IAFsite/twitter & @AvichayAdraee/Twitter