Israel has officially informed the United Nations about the necessity of evacuating their personnel and has urged Palestinian civilians residing north of Wadi Gaza to relocate to the southern areas within the upcoming 24 hours. Axios has reported this as a clear indication that a long-anticipated ground operation is imminent.
The evacuation region is home to over one million Palestinians — a densely populated area. According to sources cited by Axios, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) issued this notification with the primary objective of ensuring the safety of civilians, aiming to prevent harm to them during military actions and operations.
ON THE MOVE: Israel has warned the 1.1 million people living north of Gaza to evacuate the area ahead of the military's response to Hamas' terrorist attacks. Breaking details: https://t.co/uY001NSrcE pic.twitter.com/cm1mdqpwnc
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 13, 2023
Since the Hamas attacks on Israel, the death toll has been devastating. Thousands have sustained injuries, and hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee their homes while Hamas continues to hold approximately 150 hostages in Gaza.
Throughout the week, the Israeli military conducted intensive airstrikes that heavily impacted the Gaza Strip. The Israeli authorities asserted that their comprehensive blockade of the region, resulting in dire circumstances for Palestinian residents who urgently require food, fuel and medicine, will persist until Hamas militants release the hostages.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Israel yesterday. His visit, coupled with the arrival of U.S. weaponry, provided a significant endorsement for Israel to continue its response in Gaza.
Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz posted on social media, “Not a single electricity switch will be flipped on, not a single faucet will be turned on and not a single fuel truck will enter until the Israeli hostages are returned home.”
On Thursday, Israeli military spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht informed the press that the armed forces are getting ready for a potential ground operation, pending instructions from political leadership.
Launching a ground offensive in Gaza, a densely populated, narrow 25-mile strip of land, is likely to result in increased casualties on both sides, as it would involve intense house-to-house combat.
Since Hamas initiated its attack on Saturday and subsequent smaller assaults, the death toll in Israel has surged, with over 1,300 casualties, including 247 soldiers. This level of loss has not been witnessed in Israel for many decades. Simultaneously, the Israeli counteroffensive has led to the demise of more than 1,530 individuals in Gaza, as reported by authorities from both sides.
Israel contends that approximately 1,500 of those killed within its borders were Hamas militants, and a significant portion of the casualties in Gaza are believed to be Hamas members.