Israel’s order to all Palestinians in the northern half of the coastal strip to move south within 24 hours is a command issued in the name of “safety and protection”. It’s also a recipe for what the UN calls “devastating humanitarian consequences”.
It’s not even possible to move more than one million people in a day: roads are broken; bombs are falling; homes are destroyed; the elderly and the ill need help.
And one of the world’s most densely populated pieces of land would become utterly uninhabitable. It already is.
Under pressure from its closest allies, including the US, Israel wants to be seen to be taking precautions to limit civilian suffering as its military operations intensify.
One of its main targets now is Hamas’sunderground tunnels – destroying them means smashing residential areas above ground.
Gazans, terrified by non-stop bombardment and the agony of diminishing food and fuel, are now bombarded by a demand from Israel to go, and messages from Hamas telling them to stay.
And a people with a history of being pushed from their homes from one war to the next know that any temporary movements become permanent.
Source: BBC News