Overnight, Israel’s deadline to evacuate Gaza City passed. What comes next is unclear.
Driving the news: Just before midnight on October 12, the Israel Defense Forces called for the evacuation of northern Gaza within 24 hours, an area home to roughly 1.1 million people.
- Per The Economist, the order likely means Israel plans to launch aerial bombings, a ground invasion, and possibly special-forces raids that target militant leaders.
Catch-up: One week ago, Palestinian militants crossed the border and murdered more than 1,300 Israelis, most of them civilians, in a surprise terrorist attack led by the group Hamas.
- Israel’s response has killed more than 1,500 Gazans since Saturday, and it has cut the flow of power, goods, water, and fuel to the enclave.
Why it matters: The international community is concerned about the toll of the fighting on civilians and has been working with Israel and Egypt on safe passage options out of Gaza.
- Hamas has dismissed the order as “fake propaganda” and has told residents to stay put. It’s not clear if those who do flee will have access to transport, food, and shelter.
- Egypt, which is facing its own economic crisis and struggling with an influx of 280,000 refugees from neighbouring Sudan, has refused to accept refugees from Gaza.
Zoom out: The tensions between Israel and Hamas are spilling into the rest of the world, where demonstrations have erupted to express support for either Israel or Palestine.—SB