Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has called on Israel to rescind its evacuation for northern Gaza, which gave 1.1 million people just 24 hours to evacuate their homes.
The deadline for the order has now passed, with a spokesperson for the Israeli Defence Forces stating that Israeli forces are "getting ready for the next stage of the operations".
Martin said on Friday that it simply wasn't "feasible" to move that many people in such a short space of time and said the order would impose "enormous trauma" on the people of Gaza.
The UN described the order as "impossible".
The Israeli military has said that it will continue to allow safe movement on two roads south between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The Israelis also claimed that there has been a "significant movement" of Palestinian civilians following the evacuation order.
Martin said Israel has a right to defend itself but added that "two wrongs don't make a right" and called on the evacuation order to be rescinded.
"In respect of Israel and Gaza, we’ve been very clear that Israel has a right to self defense, but it must be within international law and that there are obligations under the Geneva Convention. And it simply isn’t feasible, that a million people can move out of the city in 24 hours," Martin said.
"That call by Israel should be rescinded and should be pulled back. Because I think everybody knows it’s not something that can be achieved at all.
"That call by Israel should be rescinded and should be pulled back. Because I think everybody knows it’s not something that can be achieved at all."
Martin accepted that Israel has a "legitimate" right to deal with Hamas because Hamas had launched an attack on Israeli civilians but said any Israeli response must not amount to an attack on the civilian population in Gaza.
"Our value system is one that does not in any way, support any collective punishment of an entire population. That’s not acceptable, from our perspective," Martin said.
Martin added that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is escalating on a "daily basis" and becoming "very, very serious".
Meanwhile, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald. responding to a UN report stating that 423,000 Palestinians have already been displaced from their homes, described Israeli retalition as "collective punishment of the Palestinian people".
"These are not defensive actions by Israel," McDonald wrote on Twitter. "These are crimes. On the world's watch."
Collective punishment of Palestinian people. A humanitarian crisis. The imminent threat and certainty of worse to come. These are not defensive actions by Israel. These are crimes. On the world's watch. #IsraelPalestineConflict #Palestine https://t.co/JxAwY3ickm— Mary Lou McDonald (@MaryLouMcDonald) October 13, 2023
On Thursday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar accused Israel of "targeting civilians and cutting off civilian infrastructure", adding that the Israelis were in "breach of international humanitarian law".
More than 1,800 civilians have been killed during retaliatory Israeli strikes in Gaza since Saturday, when Hamas launched surprise attacks across Israel, killing more than 1,200 Israeli civilians. More than 500 children are among the dead in Gaza.
The Gaza Health Ministry has reported that 256 residents have been killed in the past 24 hours.
Varadkar said Israel has the right to defend itself but added that it didn't have the right to breach international humanitarian law.
"They do have a right to defend themselves, but they don't have the right to breach international humanitarian law. And I'm really concerned about what I'm seeing happening in Gaza at the moment," Varadkar told RTÉ's Primetime on Thursday night.
"To me, it amounts to collective punishment, cutting off power, cutting off fuel supplies and water supplies. That's not the way a respectable democratic state should conduct itself.
"I believe by targeting civilians and by cutting off civilian infrastructure that is a breach of international humanitarian law. And I think it's very important for us as Ireland to make sure that that voice is brought to the table at European Union level."