Juliette Touma, UNRWA Director of Communications made the remarks on Sunday, saying “the number is likely to be higher as people continue to leave their homes” amid warnings of a ground invasion by the Israeli regime.
On Friday, Israel ordered residents of Gaza City to evacuate the area within 24 hours, in what is viewed as a precursor of a ground invasion by the occupying entity after suffering a serious setback by the Palestinian resistance groups over the past few days.
Israel has amassed troops around the strip in preparation for a potential ground offensive after warning people in northern Gaza to evacuate and move toward the southern part of Gaza.
Millions of Palestinian people in the besieged Gaza have been forced to flee ahead of the expected assault, an exodus that aid groups stressed would set off a humanitarian disaster.
The Israeli regime has also cut off food, water, medicine, internet and electricity to Gaza’s 2.3 million people. Officials have warned a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding there due to a lack of medicine and medical equipment.
Pope Francis has called for humanitarian corridors in Gaza, urging that “children, the sick, the elderly, women and all civilians should not fall victim to the conflict”.
“There have already been so many deaths, please let’s not shed any more innocent blood,” he said, castigating “the diabolical force of hatred, terrorism and war”.
Israel launched the deadly strikes on Gaza last Saturday after the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement waged a surprise attack, dubbed Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, against the occupying regime.
Hamas announced that its operation came in response to Israel’s violations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East al-Quds and growing Israeli settler violence.
The death toll of Palestinians killed since Israel began the bombing campaign in Gaza on October 7 has risen to 2,700, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the territory. Almost 10,000 Palestinians were also injured.