Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'New York Post' slammed for publishing ISIS execution images

Read more

DEBATE

Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza conflict: 72-hour ceasefire deal sets stage for Cairo talks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's El Hierro to become world's first self-powered island

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Luc Besson back in action with Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Netanyahu compares Hamas to IS, Gaza offensive to continue

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande says global security ‘worst since 2001’

    Read more

  • France urges Iran, others in region, to join fight against IS

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Video: Dozens arrested despite smaller protests in Ferguson

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

  • Headscarf at the beach sparks French MEP’s fury

    Read more

  • Video: Life in under-siege Donetsk

    Read more

  • Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny

    Read more

Middle East

Thousands flee northern Gaza after Israeli warning

© Thomas Coex, AFP | Smoke rises from a building in Gaza following an Israeli air strike

Video by Thomas WATERHOUSE

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-07-14

Thousands of Palestinians have fled their homes after the Israeli military warned it planned to bomb northern Gaza. Israel struck targets in the Gaza Strip for a sixth day on Sunday as Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel.

The exodus began after Israel dropped leaflets on Beit Lahiya, a town near Gaza’s northern border, early in the morning which said that, “Those who fail to comply with the instructions to leave immediately will endanger their lives and the lives of their families. Beware.”

Some of those fleeing raced by in pickup trucks, waving white flags. “Once we received the message, we felt scared to stay in our homes. We want to leave,” said one resident, Mohammed Abu Halemah.

The UNRWA, the United Nations agency that provides assistance to Palestinian refugees, said some 17,000 people had left their homes to seek shelter at its schools in Gaza.

The two sides have ignored international calls for a ceasefire.

The Gaza Health Ministry said that at least 160 Palestinians – among them about 135 civilians, including 30 children – have been killed since the conflict began. There have been no reports of Israeli deaths, though several people have been wounded.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to voice the United States “readiness” to help restore calm, while Egypt, a key mediator between Israel and the militant group Hamas, continued to work behind the scenes.

Amid the diplomacy, Israel said it was pushing forward with preparations for a possible ground invasion of Gaza. Thousands of troops have massed along the border in recent days.

“We don’t know when the operation will end,” Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunday. “It might take a long time.” He said the military was prepared “for all possibilities.”

Israel began targeting position in Gaza last Tuesday in what it said was a response to heavy rocket fire out of the Palestinian enclave. The military says it has launched more than 1,300 airstrikes, while militants have fired more than 800 rockets at Israel.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-07-14

  • ISRAEL - GAZA STRIP

    Israeli navy attacks Hamas base as tanks line up along Gaza border

    Read more

  • ISRAEL - GAZA STRIP

    UN Security Council calls for Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire

    Read more

  • ISRAEL – GAZA STRIP

    Hamas and Israel sustain fire despite missed targets

    Read more

COMMENT(S)