The Israel Defense Force (IDF) slammed Hamas terrorists for blocking Gazan civilians from evacuating south as the IDF readies expanded operations in the strip, calling the move both “sinister and vile.”
“Hamas has both issued warnings to their civilians not to evacuate, and when people didn’t listen to those warnings of Hamas, they have actually stopped civilians, and have stopped convoys of Gazan civilians trying to flee from the situation,” IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus explained in a daily briefing shared to social media.
Conricus highlighted images purporting to show considerable traffic going south due to a pair of vehicles blocking the road.
“That corresponds with information we have from various sources that Hamas is actively preventing civilians from leaving,” the IDF official explained.
“If that isn’t the most sinister and vile use of civilians during war, I don’t know what is, but it again goes to show the lack of any value for human life from the terrorist organization, Hamas,” he added.
Israel has told residents of northern Gaza to evacuate south as the IDF prepares for a possible ground invasion in response to the Hamas-led terror attack that killed 1,300 people and wounded 3,200 more. At least 27 Americans are believed to be dead, CBS News reported. Israel estimates that 150 people are being held hostage in Gaza.
The IDF have already conducted “localized raids” into Gaza and has deemed them successful. The IDF is in the process of finalizing plans for a “significant ground operation” in the strip, which it said will include a “joint and coordinated attack from the air, sea and land.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu led an expanded emergency cabinet on Sunday in which he declared the IDF will “demolish” Hamas in Gaza.
“Hamas thought we would be demolished. It is we who will demolish Hamas,” Netanyahu said.
Meanwhile, Iran has threatened to escalate the conflict if Israel goes into Gaza.
“Iran sent a message to Israel on Saturday stressing that it does not want further escalation in the Hamas-Israel war, but that it will have to intervene if the Israeli operation in Gaza continues,” Axios, citing diplomatic sources, reports.