JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israel Defense Forces dropped leaflets above areas in the northern Gaza Strip, warning Palestinian civilians to evacuate their homes in advance of a military campaign to destroy rocket launchers.
“The IDF’s campaign is to be short and temporary. Those who fail to comply with the instructions will endanger their lives and the lives of their families. Beware,” the messages said.
The residents of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza also received text messages and recorded messages by phone calling on them to leave by noon on Sunday. There are more than 75,000 Palestinians living in Beit Lahiya.
At least 4,000 Palestinians had evacuated their homes by the deadline, according to the Palestinian Maan news agency. They sought refuge in UNRWA facilities, according to the report.
Hamas reportedly called on Gazans to ignore Israeli warnings of specific attacks and to not evacuate their homes.