Forced evacuation of northern Gaza residents could cause further devastation: Ban

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Palestinian families take shelter at an UNRWA school in Gaza City (13 July 2014). Photo: Shareef Sarhan/UNRWA

The Secretary-General has warned that, if true, the forced expulsion of tens of thousands of residents from the northern Gaza Strip could have a further devastating humanitarian impact on civilians in those areas.

The Israeli Defence Forces are reportedly dropping leaflets in the area warning people to leave their homes and evacuate the city.

The United Nations agencies in Gaza do not have the resources on the ground to cope with, or provide assistance to, an enormous extra influx of people, he noted.

Mr Ban Ki-moon strongly urged all sides to avoid any further escalation at this time.

He also called on all sides to meet all obligations under international humanitarian law, both towards civilians ahead of impending attacks, as well as maintaining proportionality in any kind of military response.

Meanwhile, the UN Chief reiterated his condemnation of the fighting between Israeli and Palestinian during his visit to Nicaragua on Tuesday.

In the capital Managua, he met with President Daniel Ortega and other senior government officials.

Mr Ban Ki-moon is expected to travel to Costa Rica on the next leg of his Latin American tour.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’15”

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