Israel Urges Gaza Residents to Evacuate as Offensive on Hamas Intensifies


Summary: The Israeli military is urging residents in northern Gaza to move south as it prepares for a stronger offensive against Hamas. The United Nations relief agency has warned of a water shortage in Gaza, putting 2 million people at risk. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss safe passage for Americans in Gaza. The death toll in Gaza has surpassed 2,300, with over 9,000 people injured.

Israel’s military is continuing to urge residents in northern Gaza to relocate southward in preparation for a more forceful offensive against Hamas. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have announced plans for a wide range of operations, which would involve attacks on Hamas from the air, sea, and land. This move has drawn criticism from humanitarian agencies, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which has warned of a fresh water shortage in Gaza. UNRWA has also expressed concern for civilians who are unable to flee and sought refuge in the agency’s shelters in northern Gaza and Gaza City.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the issue of safe passage for Americans currently in Gaza. Blinken is expected to visit Egypt later in the day and work on a deal to grant Americans access through the Rafah gate, which is the only crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

The death toll in the conflict continues to rise, with over 2,300 people killed and 9,000 injured in Gaza, according to the local health ministry. In Israel, at least 1,300 people have been killed and 3,300 wounded. The situation has prompted the United Nations to call for the protection of civilians in its shelters across Gaza, particularly those in northern Gaza and Gaza City who are unable to evacuate.

The UNRWA has also highlighted the water crisis in Gaza, warning that approximately 2 million people are at risk due to water shortages. The agency has called for the lifting of the siege on humanitarian assistance and immediate delivery of fuel to ensure safe drinking water. The IDF has reiterated its call for residents to evacuate to southern Gaza, as it prepares to launch a ground offensive in the region. Meanwhile, negotiations for a deal to allow Americans in Gaza to exit through the Rafah gate continue to face obstacles, with parties still in negotiation.

Tags: Israel, Gaza, Hamas, evacuation, United Nations, Antony Blinken, Saudi Arabia, death toll, water shortage, ground offensive