The United Nations said early on Friday it has been told by the Israeli military that some 1.1 million Palestinians in Gaza should relocate to the enclave’s south within the next 24 hours.
Israel’s military has positioned about 300,000 personnel outside Gaza and signaled a major ground offensive could be imminent as it seeks to “wipe out” the militant group Hamas for an attack that killed at least 1,300 people.
US President Joe Biden will make a request for additional foreign aid next week, including for Israel and Ukraine.
The US reached an informal understanding with Qatar to hold off distributing $6 billion in oil revenue that Iran was allowed to access under a prisoner exchange, as Washington probes Tehran’s potential involvement in the Hamas attack, which has been designated a terrorist group by the US and EU.
“The United Nations considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
“The United Nations strongly appeals for any such order, if confirmed, to be rescinded avoiding what could transform what is already a tragedy into a calamitous situation,” he said.
Dujarric said the order by the Israeli military also applied to all UN staff and those sheltered in UN facilities, including schools, health centers and clinics.