Blood of Gazans is on Hamas for telling residents not to flee, IDF says

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari in a press conference says Hamas is responsible for any harm to civilians who do not evacuate from the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

“Hamas is taking advantage of the residents of the Gaza Strip, bringing disaster upon them and calling on the residents of the Gaza Strip at this time as well not to listen to the IDF’s recommendations,” Hagari says.

“The responsibility for what may happen to those who do not evacuate is on Hamas’s head,” he says.

Hagari says the IDF is “preparing for the next stages of the war” and that it is “prepared to operate throughout the Middle East and wherever there is a security need.”

Hagari says the military has so far notified the families of 120 hostages being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“It keeps us awake at night, and many efforts are concentrated on this matter,” Hagari says.

Referring to claims that hostages have been killed in Israeli strikes, Hagari says “There are many statements from Hamas, we will only report reliable information.”

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