I think current events make it worthwhile to point readers at an old Defence and Freedom blog post about "human shields":
Long story short: Hamas is not using human shields unless it keeps civilians from fleeing by force. To just tell them not to go isn't a war crime afaik.
It was ridiculous to expect the Gazans to leave the Northern half of the Gaza Strip anyway: The Northern half is where most of them live (see image), they cannot flee from the general war zone anyway (neither into Egypt nor into Israel, obviously - and the Mediterranean Sea isn't helpful either). And if there's anything Palestinians can agree on, it's that fleeing from the IDF is very risky. Israel has earned a reputation for not necessarily letting refugees return. Many Arabs in the Gaza Strip know this from their family history.
This reminds me of another 2009 blog post, about relevant Chinese history. Some expectations or advices from foreigners sound quite foolish once you consider the history of the country in question.