The Israel Defense Forces says the Hamas terror group is preventing Palestinians from evacuating the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
The IDF has warned Gaza residents in the northern part of the Strip to evacuate amid preparations for an expected ground incursion or a stepped-up offensive. The area is home to about 1 million people.
The military says it has identified hundreds of thousands of Palestinians moving south, but many are getting stuck in traffic caused by Hamas roadblocks.
“Hamas is making it difficult for the residents of the Gaza Strip to move on main roads, and prevents the passage of vehicles on these roads,” the IDF says.
The military releases a video showing heavy traffic in the Gaza Strip, which it says is caused by Hamas roadblocks.
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“We see an active effort by Hamas to block and prevent the population from going south. Hamas wants to show the world that it has casualties and dead,” IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says in a press conference.
“We continue to urge the residents of Gaza City, go south… Hamas wants you as human shields… This is for your personal safety,” Hagari adds. “We are going to attack very widely in Gaza City in the near future.”