Hamas has warned Israeli civilians in the port city of Ashkelon, advising them to evacuate before 5 pm Israeli time (3 pm UK time) or face rocket attacks.
This ominous message comes in response to the relentless airstrikes pummeling the Gaza Strip, suggesting that more bloodshed is looming on the horizon.
Furthermore, Hamas has refused to release Israeli hostages until the ongoing hostilities cease, a day after threatening to execute Israeli civilians held captive if the airstrikes persisted.
The Israeli military, in retaliation for the deadly surprise incursion that claimed over 1,000 Israeli lives, has deployed a formidable force comprising 600 planes and 300 rocket launchers, relentlessly pounding Gaza.
Airstrikes and artillery have decimated thousands of Hamas targets and resulted in the deaths of 770 Palestinians.
Israel has now issued another stern warning to Hamas, asserting that the terrorist group has “nowhere to hide” in Gaza.
The Israeli Air Force is conducting “extensive” airstrikes in waves, with an interval of every four hours.
Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, a military spokesperson, affirmed that they would target Hamas militants everywhere.
This announcement follows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to obliterate Hamas, likening the group to Daesh and pledging to employ “unprecedented force” with consequences that will echo for generations.
In response to these airstrikes, Hamas’s armed wing has directed a stark ultimatum at Ashkelon residents, advising them to evacuate before 5 pm Israeli time (3 pm UK time) or face impending danger.
The Al Qassam Brigades, the militant group’s armed unit, announced their intention to launch rocket attacks on the southern city of Ashkelon as a response to the alleged displacement of Palestinians from their homes in several areas of Gaza.
Shortly after this menacing warning, Hamas claimed to have fired rockets at Israel’s international Ben Gurion airport, located a mere 38 miles from Ashkelon.
However, airport officials swiftly denied this claim, affirming that the facility had not been targeted, and operations continued as normal.
Hamas also unleashed a barrage of rockets at central Israel, including Tel Aviv, resulting in the tragic death of two civilians. Another attack followed less than 20 minutes later.
Additionally, Hamas conveyed that it would not release hostages until the hostilities ceased, as they had previously threatened to execute Israeli civilian captives if the airstrikes persisted.
Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas leader, asserted that the group would not engage in a prisoner exchange, ominously warning that the “colonial occupation will pay a price for the devastation inflicted upon the Palestinians in Gaza.”
The conflict’s human toll continues to rise, with reports indicating that over 900 Israelis have lost their lives, including 260 individuals who were killed at a music festival.
In the southern town of Be’eri, where more than 100 bodies have been retrieved, volunteers somberly carried the deceased out of homes on stretchers, their faces masked.
As Israel intensifies its military operations, it has also imposed a “complete siege” on Gaza, cutting off essential supplies such as electricity, fuel, and food for the 2.3 million Palestinians, most of whom were already grappling with dire poverty.
This four-day-old war has claimed a staggering 1,600 lives, with gun battles erupting on the streets of Israeli towns and Palestinian neighbourhoods reduced to rubble.
As tensions escalate, calls for Israel to decisively confront Hamas gain momentum, while the Palestinian population, feeling increasingly desperate, seeks an end to the unending Israeli control and expanding settlements in the West Bank, along with the blockade in Gaza, and what they perceive as global indifference to their plight.