A chilling warning has been issued by Hamas to the residents of the Israeli city of Ashkelon – “get out by 5pm”.
The terrifying caution for an evacuation by 3pm UK time, comes hours after it was thought that Israel had regained control of its borders, with around 80 breaches from on Saturday (October 7) repaired. Since then, Israel has sealed the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip off from food, fuel, medicine and other supplies, while launching retaliatory air strikes on the territory, which is home to 2.3 million people.
The most recent numbers suggest 900 people have been killed in Israel, 700 in the Gaza territory and the West Bank, and many hostages have been taken. But now, as Hamas – deemed a terrorist group by the UK Government – has continues to fire rockets at the heavily populated city, the terror group has now seemingly warned of a new terrifying escalation.
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Hamas spokesman Abu Ubaida said: “In response to the enemy’s crime of displacing our people and forcing them to flee their homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, we are giving the residents of the occupied city of Ashkelon a deadline to leave it before five o’clock this evening, and those who were warned have been excused.”
And local sources are claiming that another Hamas statement said: “We call out to the Israeli people in occupied Ashkelon – leave the place by 17:00. We are coming to Ashkelon with all our strength. “
The area is just a 20 minute drive from the border with Gaza, and has a high percentage of older British residents living there – it is known for being a place for holiday homes. Earlier today, Chaim Smierc, who works for Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and lives in the area, tweeted a photo of himself wearing traditional Jewish prayer items.
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He wrote: “Woke up to my first uninterrupted sleep in days. Ashkelon, the south and all of Israel is still reeling from the horror.
“Every few hours I hear of another loss from our southern community. My heart is shattered but I still stand tall. We will win, we have no other choice.”
And it was also reported by the Jerusalem post that a “foreign worker was killed and two others were seriously wounded as a rocket fired by Hamas from Gaza” managed to hit and explode on the premises of a factory on a kibbutz in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council at around 1pm UK time today.
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