The leader of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas said Palestinians will not leave Gaza or the West Bank to migrate to Egypt, after calls from the Israeli army for more than a million of the enclave’s residents to leave their homes and head south.
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh has just begun a televised address, accusing Israel of committing “genocide” in the Gaza Strip, Reuters reported.
“Our enemy is doing this with the US administration and some European countries,” he said. “The people of Gaza are staying in their land. They will never leave Gaza or flee,” he added.
“I salute the people of Gaza who are facing the barbaric machine of the Zionist machine. They are committed to their lands.”
“Our decision is to remain in our land,” Ismail Haniyeh added in a televised speech while addressing Egypt in that part of his address.
Egypt shares a border with Gaza and has been alarmed by the possibility that the enclave’s residents could be displaced by Israel’s siege and bombardment of the territory, launched in retaliation for a devastating incursion by Hamas militants.
Like other Arab states, Egypt has said that Palestinians should stay on their lands as the war escalates and that it is working to secure delivery of aid into the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said on Friday that Palestinian civilians “who want to save their lives” must heed Israel’s warning to evacuate southward in Gaza.
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