The Israeli military warned more than a million Gaza City residents to leave and move to the south within the next 24 hours as it stationed tanks close to the Gaza Strip amid concerns of a significant ground offensive on Friday. “Now is a time for war,” declared Israel’s defence minister Yoav Gallant as Israeli warplanes continued to bomb Gaza. The military has issued a warning that it will be “significantly” operating in Gaza City in the coming days and maintains that locals won’t be allowed to return until the appropriate announcement is made. The Israeli military had earlier issued a warning, which, as Palestinians feared, could lead to Israel’s planned ground offensive, according to information provided to Reuters by the United Nations. The Israeli military did not immediately respond to the warning with any comments. However, following Hamas’s campaign to liberate Gaza from Israel’s decades-long occupation, it gathered tanks close to the Gaza border and attacked the Palestinian territory with airstrikes. “The United Nations considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences,” Stephane Dujarric, a UN spokesperson, said in a statement. The UN, she continued, strongly urges that any such order be revoked if it is confirmed in order to prevent the potential for turning an already tragic situation into a catastrophic one. According to Dujarric, the Israeli military’s directive also applied to all UN employees and people seeking refuge in UN buildings, such as hospitals, clinics, and schools. But appearing to confirm a warning took place, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, said: “The UN’s response to Israel’s early warning to the residents of Gaza is shameful.” Erdan said the UN should focus on condemning Hamas and supporting Israel’s right to self-defence. Salama Marouf, head of the Hamas government media office, said the relocation warning was an attempt by Israel “to broadcast and pass on fake propaganda, aiming to sow confusion among citizens and harm our internal cohesion.” He added: “We urge our citizens not to engage in these attempts”. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned that food and fresh water supplies were getting dangerously low while the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned that fuel for emergency generators at Gazan hospitals could run out in a matter of hours. “The human misery caused by this escalation is abhorrent, and I implore the sides to reduce the suffering of civilians,” ICRC regional director Fabrizio Carboni said. According to the authorities in Gaza, more than 1,500 Palestinians have died as a result of Israeli bombings. The Palestinian Red Crescent claimed that the four doctors who were killed by Israeli forces were purposefully killed. Israel has so far imposed a siege on Gaza, which is home to 2.3 million people, and launched a bombing campaign that has completely destroyed entire neighbourhoods.