Israel extends deadline for more than a million Palestinians to flee northern Gaza

14 October 2023, 08:48 | Updated: 14 October 2023, 13:57

The deadline to evacuate has been extended
The deadline to evacuate has been extended. Picture: Getty

By Emma Soteriou

Israel has extended its deadline for more than a million Palestinians to flee northern Gaza.

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Two routes can be used between the hours of 10am and 4pm local time (8am to 2pm GMT) on Saturday "without any harm".

Civilians should "take advantage of the short time to move south" from Beit Hanoun to Khan Yunis, Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesman Avichay Adraee said.

It comes after the IDF ordered a 24-hour evacuation of the northern area of the region - which is home to over a million people - on Friday.

Read more: Tanks roll into Gaza: Israel vows to 'hunt down and destroy Hamas' as thousands of civilians flee for their lives

Read more: 'Deviants will be arrested': Met issues warning ahead of pro-Palestine protests in London over weekend

Mr Adraee said in a Twitter post: "An important statement to the residents of Gaza City.

"In recent days, we have appealed to you to leave Gaza City to the south of Wadi Gaza in order to preserve your safety.

Israeli soldiers prepare armed drones stationed close to the Palestinian Gaza Strip enclave
Israeli soldiers prepare armed drones stationed close to the Palestinian Gaza Strip enclave. Picture: Getty

"I would like to inform you that the IDF will allow movement on the indicated streets without any harm between the hours of 10:00-16:00.

"For your safety, take advantage of the short time to move south - from Beit Hanoun to Khan Yunis. If you care about yourself and your loved ones, go south as instructed.

"Rest assured that Hamas leaders have taken care of themselves and are taking cover from strikes in the region.

"Residents of the beach, sand, and west of Olive will also be allowed to move on Daldul and Al-Sana Streets towards Salah Al-Din and Al-Bahr Streets."

Israel is preparing to launch a ground invasion, having already carried out a series of localised raids in Gaza overnight.

Strikes have levelled entire city blocks, and Gaza has been sealed off from food, water and medical supplies - all under a virtual total power blackout.

The UN has called on Israel to reverse the unprecedented directive, with secretary general Antonio Guterres saying the situation has reached a "new low".

The Israel-Gaza war cannot be an 'eye for an eye' says Lewis Goodall

Israel's raids into Gaza on Friday were the first indication that troops had entered the territory since Israel began its round-the-clock bombardment in retaliation for the Hamas massacre.

Palestinian militants have fired thousands of rockets into Israel since the fighting erupted.

Speaking in an earlier address, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to "destroy Hamas", saying: "Today, everyone knows that we’re fighting for the homeland, and we’re fighting like lions.

“We’ll never forget the Hamas onslaught. We are striking our enemies with unprecedented might.

“We will destroy Hamas, and we will win, but it will take time."

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