Israel-Hamas Conflict: IDF Announces Temporary Pause In Operations For Gaza Evacuation Amid Anticipated Ground Offensive

Israel-Hamas Conflict: IDF Announces Temporary Pause In Operations For Gaza Evacuation Amid Anticipated Ground Offensive

In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), the IDF instructed about 1.1 million Gazans in the area to move southward.

Vishakha SonawaneUpdated: Monday, October 16, 2023, 01:41 PM IST
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets IDF soldiers on October 14, 2023. | Twitter/IsraeliPM

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it will not carry out any operations from 10 am to 1 pm from Gaza City and northern Gaza to south on Sunday amid the evacuation orders it issued to its residents. This comes at a time when Israel is anticipated to launch a ground offensive as the deadly Israel-Hamas conflict claimed lives of at least 3,200 people on both sides.

In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), the IDF instructed about 1.1 million Gazans in the area to move southward.

"We want to inform you that the IDF will not carry out any operations along this route from 10 am to 1 pm. During this window, please take the opportunity to move southward from northern Gaza," the IDF said. "Your safety and that of your families matters. Please follow our instructions and head southward. Be assured, Hamas leaders have already ensured their safety and that of their families."

Earlier in the day, IDF spokesman Lt Col Jonathan Conricus said Hamas warned Gazans against following Israel's evacuation orders.

"Hamas has both issued warnings to their civilians not to evacuate, and when people didn’t listen to those warnings of Hamas, they have actually stopped civilians, and have stopped convoys of Gazan civilians trying to flee from the situation, Lt Col Conricus said. "If that isn't the most sinister use of civilians during war, I don't know what is, but it again goes to show the lack of any value for human life with the terrorist organisation Hamas."

'Extremely dangrous... simply not possible'

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday called the movement of hundreds of thousands of Gazans to south "extremely dangerous". Following the October 7 surprise attack by Hamas, Israel announced a total siege on Gaza and blocking the entry of food, fuel and water.

"After days of airstrikes, the Israeli Defense Forces have ordered the Palestinians in Gaza City and its surroundings to move to the south of the territory. Moving more than one million people across a densely populated warzone to a place with no food, water, or accommodation, when the entire territory is under siege, is extremely dangerous –and in some cases, simply not possible," Guterres said in a statement.

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