Palestinians in Hamas Locations Told to ‘Leave Now’ as Israel Prepares Response

Mimi Nguyen Ly
By Mimi Nguyen Ly
October 7, 2023Middle East
Palestinians in Hamas Locations Told to ‘Leave Now’ as Israel Prepares Response
An aerial view shows vehicles on fire as rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip, into Ashkelon, southern Israel, on Oct. 7, 2023. (Ilan Rosenberg/Reuters)

Warning: The article below has images of graphic content.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is urging Palestinian civilians in Hamas-controlled locations in the Gaza strip to leave immediately, in the hopes that they will vacate before the Israeli military up their response to the Islamist terrorist group’s latest bloody offensive against Israel and its citizens that began on Saturday.

“I say to the residents of Gaza: Leave now because we will operate forcefully everywhere.,” Mr. Netanyahu said of Hamas hiding places in Gaza, according to a statement posted on X around 4:25 a.m. Sunday local time from Tel Aviv.

The prime minister earlier on Saturday declared that Hamas’s unprovoked and deadly offensive has forced Israel into a “state of war” after terrorists launched a surprise cross-border attack on Israel from the air, land, and sea. The unprecedented surprise assault saw Hamas terrorists infiltrating Israeli territory and firing thousands of rockets into Israel from Gaza.

“This morning, on Shabbat and a holiday, Hamas invaded Israeli territory and murdered innocent citizens including children and the elderly. Hamas has started a brutal and evil war,” he said in his message on X, updating the world about the war acts leveled at Israel’s citizens by the terrorists.

NTD Photo
A building is ablaze in Tel Aviv, Israel, following rocket attacks by Hamas from the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, 2023. (Itai Ron/Reuters)

As of late Saturday, over 300 Israelis have been killed in the Hamas invasion, according to Israeli media. Israel’s health ministry has reported that over 1,800 Israelis have been injured, including 18 in critical condition and 267 severe.

Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has said it has killed over 200 terrorists involved in the latest attack on Israel, which many media outlets have reported as Gazan or Palestinian deaths, conflating Palestinian civilians with those who participate in terrorist activities.

Leaders from the liberal democratic world condemned Hamas’s actions, while the Taliban in Afghanistan voiced support for the terrorist group.

Dozens of Israelis have also been abducted by Hamas terrorists, with fears that the hostages will be taken to Hamas hideouts in Gaza—the terrorists’ strategy to deter what it knows will be coming Israeli military strikes on its sites.

“We will be victorious in this war despite an unbearable price. This is a very difficult day for all of us,” reads Mr. Netanyahu’s message. “Hamas wants to murder us all. This is an enemy that murders children and mothers in their homes, in their beds, an enemy that abducts the elderly, children and young women, that slaughters and massacres our citizens, including children, who simply went out to enjoy the holiday.”

NTD Photo
An Israeli soldier takes cover behind a car after Hamas terrorists entered southern Israel and killed civilians. Israeli bodies are seen here on a main road near Israel’s Gevim Kibbutz, close to the border with Gaza on Oct. 7, 2023. (Oren Ziv/AFP via Getty Images)

Saturday was the culmination of the week-long Torah-commanded harvest festival, Sukkot, for the Jewish people.

Mr. Netanyahu promised that he would use all the capabilities of the Israel Defense Forces to quash Hamas’s latest surprise offensive.

“The IDF will immediately use all its strength to destroy Hamas’s capabilities. We will destroy them and we will forcefully avenge this dark day that they have forced on the State of Israel and its citizens,” he said, adding, “All of the places which Hamas is deployed, hiding and operating in, that wicked city, we will turn them into rubble.”

attack on Israel
An Israeli woman react over the body of her relative who was killed by armed terrorists who entered from the Gaza strip, in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, on Oct. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Baz Ratner)

Hamas Killed Innocent Israeli Civilians: IDF

The IDF “will be very measured in its response,” IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said in a live briefing from Tel Aviv late Saturday local time.

The Israeli military, “unlike our enemies, hold human life dear,” he said. “But I can also assure you that today is a different day and that the response that Israel will deliver against Hamas will be unlike anything that we have done in the past.”

Hundreds of Hamas terrorists have crossed from the Gaza Strip into Israel since Saturday morning and “attacked dozens of Israeli communities and IDF bases, and went door to door, house to house in search of Israeli civilians, executed in cold blood Israeli civilians in their homes, and then continued to drag into Gaza Israeli civilians and military personnel,” according to Lt. Col. Conricus.

“And in terms of the civilians, I’m talking women, children, elderly, disabled that were dragged into Gaza by the terrorists from the Gaza strip,” he said.

While more than 3,000 rockets have been fired at Israel by Hamas from the Gaza strip, Israel’s Iron Dome—a defense system that detects and intercepts incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells—has been critical in preventing large numbers of casualties that could have resulted from the rockets, Lt. Col. Conricus said.

“The overwhelming majority of the casualties we have sustained have been from close contact fighting, or, rather, executions and cold-blooded killings of Israeli civilians and soldiers by Hamas terrorists,” he clarified.

Next Steps

IDF’s first priority is to restore the situation in the south of Israel to ensure safety to the Israeli communities there, Lt. Col. Conricus said. Thereafter, the IDF plans to obtain “a full and comprehensive tally of the numbers of Israelis,” and account for all civilians and soldiers, including establishing their locations.

Its second priority is “to make sure the border is closed and that future attacks are prevented and that Hamas won’t have any other opportunities to attack Israel,” he said.

“Third, and that’s already ongoing, we will start to strike Hamas’s military targets in Gaza. And that’s the stage when we start responding to Hamas aggression and attacks,” he added. “That’s usually the stage when the world starts to count Palestinian deaths and lecture us about humanity and the use of force.”

Countering this potential narrative, Lt. Col. Conricus stated: “Let me remind everybody how this started—it started with the butchering and the cold-blooded execution of Israeli civilians by Hamas, unprovoked, into Israel.

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A view of a junction shows the aftermath of a mass-infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, in the Sderot area, southern Israel, on Oct. 7, 2023. (Ammar Awad/Reuters)

“An unprecedented level of violence against Israeli civilians will generate an unprecedented Israeli response against Hamas.

“It is Hamas who is responsible for the violence. Each and every Israeli killed and each and every Palestinian killed—it’s blood on Hamas’s hands and they are responsible for everything that is happening and will happen in the coming days and weeks as this war unfolds.”

Melanie Sun and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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