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17,000 Gazans leave Beit Lahiya

After having reported earlier Sunday afternoon that 10,000 Gazans had defied Hamas by following IDF instructions to leave their homes in Beit Lahiya, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency ups that number to 17,000 residents, Israel Radio reports.

The agency says it has opened the doors of 10 Gaza schools to house the refugees, and might open two more.

Late Saturday night, Israel instructed residents of Beit Lahiya to leave their homes in advance of an Israeli operation in the neighborhood. The IDF says that 10% of rockets fired into Israel have come from there.

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