Israel threatens Gazans to move south or be considered 'terrorist' partners
Palestinians have received threatening warnings from Israel's military to move from north Gaza to the south of the strip, with the added warning that they could be identified as sympathisers with a "terrorist organisation" if they stayed put.
The message was delivered in leaflets marked with the Israeli army's name and logo from Saturday and sent to people via mobile phone audio messages across the besieged Gaza Strip, a narrow territory that is just 45 km (28 miles) long.
"Urgent warning, to residents of Gaza. Your presence north of Wadi Gaza puts your life in danger. Whoever chooses not to leave north Gaza to the south of Wadi Gaza might be identified as an accomplice in a terrorist organisation," the leaflet said.
Israel has brutally bombarded Gaza with airstrikes, killing 4,651, people, including 1,873 children. The latest Israeli assault on the Palestinian territory came after Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel on October 7, killing 1,400 people.
Israel has massed troops and armour on the border with Gaza ahead of an expected land incursion.
Amid backlash over the warning sent to Gazans by Israel, the Israeli military said in a statement it had "no intention to consider those who have not evacuated ... as a member of the terrorist group".
"In order to minimize civilian harm, the IDF sent a request to the residents of the northern area of the Gaza Strip to evacuate southward of Wadi Gaza," it said.
Israel's attempt to move Gazans south has been slammed as an attempt to ethnically cleanse and displace Palestinians from their homes, comparable to the 1948 Nakba, when over 700,000 Palestinians were expelled to make way for the founding of the state of Israel.
Many Palestinian families who left Gaza to the south said they had lost relatives during the Israeli airstrikes in southern Gaza.
Reuters contributed to this report.