Forced transfer of Gaza population 'a crime': Arab League

AFP , Friday 13 Oct 2023

Israel's order to Palestinians to evacuate the north of the blockaded Gaza Strip is a "forced transfer" that constitutes "a crime", Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said Friday.

Arab League
Foreign Ministers attend an Arab League extraordinary meeting in Cairo on October 11, 2023. AFP


The secretary general of the pan-Arab body, in a letter sent to UN chief Antonio Guterres, also accused Israel of carrying out "an atrocious act of revenge... punishing helpless civilians in Gaza" rather than a "planned or studied military operation" on uprooting Hamas militants over their deadly attacks on Israeli soil.

Israel has ordered the evacuation of northern Gaza, including Gaza City, which is home to hundreds of thousands of people. Palestinians would only be able to flee south within Gaza — a narrow strip of land about 40 kilometers (25) miles long — as Israel has completely sealed off the territory.

The evacuation order sent panic through civilians and aid workers already struggling under Israeli airstrikes and a blockade.

In another move the Israeli army dropped leaflets on the blockaded Gaza Strip warning people to flee from the north, an area home to some 1.1 million people.

“This evacuation is for your own safety,” the Israeli military said, in a warning it said was sent to Gaza City civilians.

The order comes as Israel pounds the blockaded Gaza Strip with strikes and Palestinian militants fire rockets towards Israel.

The war erupted on Saturday when Hamas militants crossed from Gaza and launched attacks on border communities, killing around 1,200 people.

In Gaza, round-the-clock bombardment and an Israeli-imposed siege have killed more than 1,530 people, more than 60 percent of them women and children, Gaza health ministry figures say, while more than 340,000 Palestinians have been displaced in the Palestinian enclave — around 15 percent of Gaza's population.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

Short link: