Israel and Hamas at war | Israel hits Gazans trying to flee south, witnesses say

Israel continued to call on the Palestinians on Saturday to evacuate the northern Gaza Strip, giving them a little more time before a probable ground offensive, a week after the unprecedented Hamas attack, which sparked a deadly war . Palestinians who tried to flee to the south of the Gaza Strip through an area that the Israeli army had presented as secure were killed in Israeli strikes, witnesses and Hamas officials said on Saturday.


  • Hamas launched a surprise military offensive towards Israel on October 7;
  • The Israeli army has since responded with airstrikes on the Gaza Strip;
  • An Israeli ground offensive is expected on Palestinian territory;
  • Israel ordered the evacuation of all civilians from northern Gaza on Friday;
  • Hamas threatens to execute civilian hostages in response to Israeli raids on Gaza;
  • Around 150 people are believed to be detained by Hamas, “including foreigners”;
  • The war left nearly 3,500 dead on both sides, according to official reports.

While awaiting this offensive for which Israel said it was preparing, the army on Friday called on Gazan civilians in the north of the territory – 1.1 million people out of a total of 2.4 million inhabitants – to reach the south, and urged them on Saturday not to “delay”. She clarified on Friday that Gaza City was the center of Hamas operations.

But an army spokesperson said Saturday evening that they were still giving the Palestinians time to leave for the south “because there are an enormous number of people who must [encore] leave » the north and assured that the ground offensive would not start on Sunday, for humanitarian reasons.

On Friday, an Israeli army spokesperson, Avichay Adraee, called on Gaza residents to head towards the south of the micro-territory, beyond the Wadi Gaza waterway, “for their safety”, and claimed that the area would be cleared of Israeli forces by 8 p.m. (1 p.m. Eastern Time) Friday.

Hamas officials, however, claim that people were killed before this deadline in this area.


Palestinians are having to flee their homes towards the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

According to the Health Ministry and Hamas’ media office, dozens of civilians trying to flee to southern Gaza were killed in at least three locations on Friday afternoon.

On Saturday, a witness said that a “truck carrying dozens of families was hit near Wadi Gaza.”

Asked by AFP, the Israeli army did not comment.

AFP was unable to verify that these deaths were the result of Israeli strikes.

AFP was able to verify that images circulating on social networks and corresponding to the allegations of witnesses had been taken on Friday in Gaza, but could not certify that the explosions visible in the images came from Israeli fire.

“Two cars were hit near the Kuwaiti hospital south of Gaza City,” said a Hamas security source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Tal Heinrich, a spokesman for the Israeli prime minister’s office, told reporters Saturday that Israel was taking “every precaution” to prevent civilian deaths.

Hamas said in a statement on Saturday that “70 martyrs” and 200 injured, including women and children, had been recorded as a result of an “Israeli massacre” and “a hate crime” against displaced families.

Since Friday, thousands of residents have been fleeing by all means, their possessions piled up hastily, on trailers, carts, on motorbikes, by car, through the ruins.

The forced evacuation of thousands of patients from northern Gaza to overwhelmed establishments in the south of the territory could be “the equivalent of a death sentence”, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Saturday evening.

“The WHO strongly condemns repeated Israeli orders to evacuate 22 hospitals treating more than 2,000 patients in northern Gaza,” the UN agency said in a statement, stressing that due to the state of saturation of the structures from southern Gaza it “would be the equivalent of a death sentence”.

The Israeli army, for its part, announced on Saturday evening that it had found in the Gaza Strip “bodies” of hostages kidnapped by the Palestinian Islamist movement during their October 7 attack in Israel. She said they were found during army incursions into the territory.

Hamas had earlier reported 22 hostages killed in Israeli bombings carried out over the past week in the Gaza Strip in response to the Hamas attack.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Israeli troops near the Gaza Strip on Saturday. “It will continue,” he told several soldiers.

The Hamas attack and the war it sparked fueled fears of an extension of the conflict, and of a humanitarian catastrophe for the population of Gaza, subjected to siege, deprived of water and electricity supplies. or food, and where hundreds of thousands of people have already been displaced.

“War crimes”

At least 1,300 people, mostly civilians, including at least 130 foreign or dual nationals, have been killed in Israel since the October 7 attack.

More than 2,200 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 724 children, according to local authorities, have died in the Gaza Strip, a small, impoverished and siege territory wedged between Israel and Egypt.


Palestinians carry a man injured during Israeli strikes in Khan Younes, in the southern Gaza Strip, on October 14.

Israel said it had identified at least 120 people, civilians, soldiers and foreigners, who were kidnapped during the attack by Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel.

Hundreds of people remain missing, and bodies are still being identified.

The leader of Hamas, Ismaïl Haniyeh, on Saturday accused Israel of “war crimes” in Gaza and said he refused the “displacement” of the Palestinians. The Palestinian movement is for its part regularly accused by Israel of using civilians as human shields.

Israel, for its part, announced the death of two Hamas military leaders, responsible according to the army for the October 7 attack.

Call for a ceasefire

After announcing that it was suspending discussions on possible normalization with Israel, Saudi Arabia called for an “immediate ceasefire”.

US President Joe Biden told Netanyahu that the United States was working with the UN and countries in the Middle East “to ensure that innocent civilians have access to water, food and health care.” medical”.

Earlier, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for “immediate” humanitarian access to this small strip of land, subject to an Israeli blockade for more than 15 years.

And in a telephone call to President Biden, his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, also stressed the need for “the opening of humanitarian corridors in the Gaza Strip, to provide basic products, medical supplies, electricity and fuel,” according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa.


Palestinians flee northern Gaza after the Israeli army issued an unprecedented evacuation warning on October 13.

Tension is also high on Israel’s northern border, where the Israeli army announced on Saturday that it had killed “several terrorists” who were trying to infiltrate, after having struck a target of the Shiite Hezbollah movement in the south of the country in the night. Lebanon, in response to an aerial “infiltration” and shooting.

Hezbollah announced the death of one of its fighters in “Israeli strikes” or following “clashes”, and two civilians were killed in an Israeli bombardment in southern Lebanon, according to a local elected official.


A Reuters video journalist was killed and six other journalists from AFP, Reuters and Al-Jazeera were injured in bombings in southern Lebanon on Friday.


A car carrying journalists was hit by Israeli shelling in the border village of Alma el-Shaab with Israel, in southern Lebanon, on October 13.

The Israeli army said on Saturday that it was “very sorry” for this death, indicating that it was “investigating”, without explicitly recognizing responsibility. The Lebanese army accused her of being responsible for firing “a rocket which targeted a civilian press car”.

Israel also indicated that it had struck Syria with artillery on Saturday evening after air alerts in the part of the Golan Heights annexed by Israel in 1967. An NGO also announced that an “Israeli strike” hit the airport of ‘Aleppo.

At dawn on October 7, in the middle of Shabbat, the weekly Jewish rest, hundreds of Hamas fighters infiltrated Israel in vehicles and by air from Gaza.

They killed more than a thousand civilians, sowing terror under a barrage of rockets during this attack on a scale not seen since the creation of Israel in 1948. Around 270 people, according to the authorities, were killed at a music festival.

The Israeli government’s national security adviser admitted on Saturday “errors” by the intelligence services ahead of the attacks.

Families of the hostages launched an appeal for help on Saturday evening, demanding an agreement between Hamas and the Red Cross “by midnight” to urgently deliver medicine for their loved ones.

Several hundred people, including families of people kidnapped by Hamas, demonstrated on Saturday in Tel Aviv in front of the Ministry of Defense, some shouting “Bibi in prison” or even “Bibi in exchange for our hostages”, in reference to the Israeli Prime Minister.

The Israeli government’s national security adviser admitted on Saturday “errors” by the intelligence services ahead of the attacks.


Concern is growing for residents of the Gaza Strip, a 362 square kilometer territory subject to an Israeli land, air and sea blockade since Hamas took power there. Egypt controls the only opening not under Israeli control, the currently closed Rafah crossing.


Palestinians with dual nationality gather in front of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip, hoping to obtain permission to leave Gaza on October 14.

On the Palestinian side of this border town, dozens of displaced Gazan families have taken over a United Nations school, piling up laundry, mattresses and packages in the classes and the playground, noted an AFP journalist.


Palestinians took refuge in a UN-run school in the Nuiserat refugee camp on October 14.

Further north, thousands of displaced people are crowded into the courtyard of the Nasser hospital in Khan Younès. “It’s a disaster, there is nothing to eat, we don’t know where to sleep, we don’t know what to do and where to go,” laments Juma Nasser, a forty-year-old.

In front of the hospital, sitting on the ground, entire families are left to their own devices, some crying, others showing frightened and shocked faces.

More than 423,000 Palestinians have already left their homes, and 5,540 houses destroyed, according to the UN.

“Our volunteers refuse to leave and abandon those who need them most. They must be protected – so they can protect others,” the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is continuing a regional tour in the United Arab Emirates, called on Iran’s partner China to use its influence to calm the situation in the Middle East.

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