Palestinian militant group Hamas on Friday rejected an Israeli order for 1.1 million residents to evacuate northern Gaza ahead of an expected ground incursion into the overcrowded Palestinian territory.
“Our Palestinian people reject the threat of the occupation’s (Israeli) leaders and its call for them to leave their homes and flee from them to the south or Egypt,” the Islamist militant group said in a statement.
“We are steadfast on our land, in our homes, and in our cities. There will be no displacement,” it said.
The United Nations stated that an order by Israel to flee within 24 hours risked a “calamitous situation”.
Since Saturday, Israeli raids on the coastal enclave have killed over 1,530 people in revenge for Hamas militants killing about 1,200 people in Israeli airstrikes.
Egypt’s Rafah Gate is the only way out of Gaza that is not controlled by Israel, and it has been bombed several times this week.
In a speech Thursday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Egypt remained dedicated to securing the supply of aid to Gaza but urged Palestinians to “remain on their land.”