Israel asks all civilians to leave Gaza City amid fears of more attacks

Israel's military on Friday called for all civilians of Gaza City, more than 1 million people, to relocate south within 24 hours, as it amassed tanks near the Gaza Strip ahead of an expected ground invasion, reports Reuters.

"Now is a time for war," Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said on Thursday as Israeli warplanes continued pounding Gaza in retaliation for the weekend attacks by Hamas militants that killed more than 1,300 Israelis, mostly civilians.

The Israeli military said it would operate "significantly" in Gaza City in the coming days and civilians would only be able to return when another announcement was made.

"Civilians of Gaza City, evacuate south for your own safety and the safety of your families and distance yourself from Hamas terrorists who are using you as human shields," the military said in a statement.

Israel war
Scores of buildings have been razed to the ground after Israel retaliated with airstrikes on Monday X

"Hamas terrorists are hiding in Gaza City inside tunnels underneath houses and inside buildings populated with innocent Gazan civilians."

A Hamas official said the Gaza relocation warning was "fake propaganda" and urged citizens not to fall for it.

The United Nations said it considered it impossible for such a movement of people to take place "without devastating humanitarian consequences."

Israel's ambassador to the U.N., Gilad Erdan described the U.N.'s response to Israel's early warning to the residents of Gaza as "shameful".

Israel has vowed to annihilate the Hamas militant group which led the attacks on Saturday.

The Israeli military said in a statement on Friday that it struck 750 military targets in northern Gaza overnight, including what it said were Hamas tunnels, military compounds, residences of senior operatives and weapons storage warehouses.

However, a ground invasion of Gaza poses serious risk with Hamas holding scores of hostages kidnapped in the assault.

The Gaza Strip, home to 2.3 million people, is under siege by Israel, which has pounded Hamas targets in the enclave and killed more than 1,500 Palestinians in retaliatory attacks since the weekend incursions.