"We are dismayed by the order given to over one million people in the northern part of the Gaza Strip to evacuate within 24 hours towards the southern part of the enclave.
"With intense shelling continuing, a lack of transportation, and all utilities now cut, it is simply impossible for such a large number of people – including women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and large numbers of wounded in hospitals – to take the road. Additionally, there are no structures – shelter, water, food, medical care, protection – for them on arrival.
"Innocent Palestinians should not bear the cost of the response to the horrible act of terror perpetrated against innocent Israelis. If such an order stays in place, the humanitarian consequences will be on a scale that we have not seen in the region in recent history.
"We are also very worried about the fate of our colleagues and their families. They are terrified. We implore those with the power to do so to immediately de-escalate the cycle of violence and prioritise the protection of civilians’ lives in Gaza, including of humanitarian workers, as mandated by international humanitarian law. We can still avoid the worst-case scenario."
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Image: Destroyed houses in the al-Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City © Grayscale Media/CARE