The Sisters of the Rosary, whose convent is attached to central Gaza’s only Catholic church, have decided to stay with those who are unable to leave the area.
Speaking to the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the group said they “will not go” as they feel they have a duty to care for the elderly and the disabled in the region.
Sister Nabila said: “People have nothing, not the basic things. Where should we go? To die on the street? We have old people, the Mother Teresa’s Sisters are also here, with people with multiple disabilities and elderly people...
“We need medicines. Many hospitals are destroyed. Where should we go?”
Over the weekend Israel told Palestinians to evacuate the north and head to what it called "safe zones" in the south. But Father Gabriel Romanelli, one of the two priests caring for Roman Catholics in Gaza told ACN many parishioners have no other option but to stay.
“What will they find in the south of the Gaza Strip? They will find hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people who have fled Gaza city.
“And there is nothing in the south and the health and humanitarian situation is disastrous with lack of water and food,” Father Romanelli said.
The situation in the region continues to escalate, with Israeli airstrikes pounding locations across the Gaza Strip, including parts of the south.
More than two million Palestinians are trapped in the territory.