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“Leave now” — Israel fires warning as Hamas conflict lingers



"Leave now" -- Israel warns as Hamas conflict lingers

Israel through its military has issued an urgent call for residents in eastern Rafah to “evacuate immediately,” signaling a potential escalation in conflict with Hamas.

This directive follows a recent statement from Israel’s defense minister instructing troops stationed in Gaza to prepare for “intense action” in the city in the near future. Approximately 100,000 people are affected by the evacuation order, according to the military.

The ongoing bombardment of Gaza by Israel since October 7 has left the besieged enclave in ruins, with entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble. Many residents seeking refuge in Rafah have been displaced multiple times, adding to the humanitarian crisis in the region.

Reports from a CNN stringer in east Rafah indicate that the evacuation notice has heightened tensions and sparked alarm among the already overwhelmed refugee population.

The call for evacuation comes on the heels of Israel’s decision to shut down the Kerem Shalom border crossing to humanitarian trucks, citing security concerns following a deadly rocket attack attributed to Hamas.

Despite international efforts to broker a ceasefire and negotiate the release of hostages, there is little progress, with both Israel and Hamas exchanging blame for the continued violence in recent remarks.

The situation in Gaza remains volatile, with fears of further escalation looming large as both sides dig in their heels amidst a backdrop of ongoing conflict and diplomatic stalemate.