The Israeli military on Friday dropped flyers on Gaza warning residents to flee “immediately” to the south, AFP correspondents in the Palestinian territory said.
“Evacuate your homes immediately and go south of Wadi Gaza,” read flyers dropped by drones and seen by AFP.
A map featured on the flyers showed an arrow pointing south across a line in the central Gaza Strip.
The message signed by the Israeli military ordered residents to “evacuate public shelters in Gaza City”.
Some 423,000 Gazans have been displaced in recent days, 60 percent of whom are taking shelter with the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).
The flyers warned residents to “not return to your homes until further notice” from the Israeli military.
The leaflet drop follows UN officials saying they were informed by the Israeli military that residents must flee northern Gaza within 24 hours, a timeframe an army spokesman would not confirm.
The mass displacement order comes amid large-scale bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli military, which has killed more than 1,530 people according to health officials.
The war erupted on Saturday when Hamas militants crossed from Gaza to launch attacks in which 1,200 people were killed, Israeli officials said.