According to the official website of the United Nations, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has learned, with concern, that leaflets are reportedly being dropped by the Israeli military over the northern Gaza Strip, this evening. The leaflets serve to warn tens of thousands of residents to leave their homes and evacuate to Gaza City.The UN’s official statement said that, if true, this would have a ‘further devastating humanitarian impact on the beleaguered civilians of those areas of the Gaza strip, who have already undergone immense suffering in recent days’.

Furthermore, UN agencies present in the Gaza Strip lack the ground resources on the ground to either cope with or provide assistance to what is now an ‘enormous extra influx of desperate people’.

Secretary-General Ki-moon strongly urges all sides to avoid any further escalation at this time, noting that ‘all sides must 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’.

He reiterated his condemnation of rocket fire and the building of cross-border tunnels between Israel and Gaza by Palestinian resistance, further underlining the critical importance of ending hostilities.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has asserted that military operations on Gaza (or what he refers to as ‘Hamas’) are to be expanded and intensified, in order to disarm the resistance.

See — Kerry: Lasting Resolution Must Lead to Disarmament of Hamas