Palestinians forced to flee siege

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GAZA CITY.— Thousands of Palestinians fled the northern Gaza Strip yesterday, after Israel called on them to evacuate the area before a possible invasion of the enclave, in an escalation of war.

In this area, the number of deaths from the bombings rises to 1,900, of which 614 were children.

The evacuation order prompted thousands of inhabitants of the northern Strip to flee by car or on foot to the south, although with no hope of leaving the enclave on the Israeli side or through the only passage with Egypt.

The Israeli military issued an evacuation order for the 1.1 million people living in the area in response to the Hamas invasion last Saturday.

In response, Hamas rejected the evacuation.

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“We reject the threat from the occupation leaders and their calls to leave their homes and flee to the south or to Egypt,” said the radical group.

Affected citizens regretted the order of the Israeli army.

What does the world want from us? "I am already a refugee in Gaza and they want me to leave again?" said Mohammed Khaled, a 43-year-old resident.

In the Gaza Strip, more than 80% of its inhabitants are refugees or descendants of refugees who abandoned their communities or were expelled after the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.

Do they want us to sleep on the streets with our children? I refuse! "I don't want this unworthy life! There is no safe place, so we don't know where to go," said Mohammed Abu Ali, from the Shati refugee camp, the largest in Gaza, in the north of the Strip.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas equated the mass displacement of Palestinians to a second Nakba (catastrophe in Arabic), the exile of 760 thousand Palestinians in the 1948 war.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia rejected any population displacement in the Gaza Strip.

"Riyadh categorically rejects calls for the forced displacement of the Palestinian population from Gaza, and condemns the continued bombing of undefended civilians in this territory," the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al Sisi stated that Gazans must remain in their land.

“Palestine is the cause of all Arabs and it is important that the people who embody it remain unwavering,” he added.

Meanwhile, King Abdullah II of Jordan stated that the crisis should not spread to neighboring countries and aggravate the issue of Palestinian refugees, who number six million in the Middle East, a third of them in Jordanian territory.

Egypt and Jordan seek to obtain humanitarian aid for Gaza.

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