JERUSALEM: Palestinians began a mass exodus from northern Gaza Friday after Israel‘s military told some 1 million people to evacuate toward the southern part of the besieged territory, an unprecedented order ahead of an expected ground invasion against the ruling Hamas militant group.

The UN warned that so many people fleeing en masse – almost half the Gaza population – would be calamitous.

Hamas, meanwhile, called on Palestinians to stay in their homes, saying Israel “is trying to create confusion among citizens and harm the cohesion of our internal front.” It urged Palestinians to ignore what it said was “psychological warfare.”

Israel-Hamas War: El-Sissi denies entry to Gaza people in Egypt amid Israel’s warning of intensifying attack

Israel has cut off all food, water and supplies and caused a territory-wide blackout. “Forget about food, forget about electricity, forget about fuel. The only concern now is just if you’ll make it, if you’re going to live,” said Nebal Farsakh, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent in Gaza City, as she broke into heaving sobs. The war has already claimed over 3,000 lives on both sides. agencies

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