Gaza Man Says Hamas Is Preventing Evacuations

An audio clip of a Gazan resident has been published by Israel, in which the man claims that Hamas is employing violence to prevent Palestinians from leaving portions of the Gaza Strip.

There is a recording of an IDF officer warning a Gazan civilian to leave his home because of an impending Israeli airstrike. A local informs an Israeli officer that Hamas has closed off all escape routes and is shooting at civilians who try to flee. The individual claims that whenever people try to run, members of the terrorist group send them back inside.

Israel agreed to postpone its invasion of the Gaza Strip to allow the United States time to construct missile defense systems at neighboring bases, and now Israel has released the audio it made during that conversation. Israeli estimates place the number of Palestinians currently living in northern Gaza at around 350,000, while the UN reports that tens of thousands of those who were evacuated have since returned. After the terror group Hamas killed almost 1,400 people, mostly civilians, in southern Israel earlier this month, military leaders have repeatedly urged Palestinians to move south as it prepared for a land incursion to remove Hamas.

Overcrowded shelters, a lack of clean water and food, and reports of Israeli bombardment in the south are all cited as evidence of the terrible situation in Gaza. Human rights organizations around the world have voiced strong opposition to Israel’s evacuation orders, arguing that they do not comply with international law and are, therefore, ineffective as a warning to civilians.

Out of a total population of 2.3 million, almost 1.4 million people have been forced to flee their homes in various parts of the narrow Strip, and UN shelters are at triple capacity. Since at least 700,000 Palestinians fled south in response to Israel’s evacuation order, services in the north have worsened. None of the homes had running water, heating, or electricity.

United Nations observers estimate that thirty thousand Palestinians have returned to the north because they are sick of being forced to flee from one shelter to another under Israeli fire. Thirty thousand, according to UN observers.

According to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza, over 6,500 people have been killed in Gaza since the conflict began. The United States and other Western governments have supported the Israeli account of events. Since the conflict started, terror organizations reportedly have fired over 550 rockets against Israel, with over 550 of those missiles landing inside the Strip.