Gaza Residents Flee After Warning From Israel

The Israel Defense Forces dropped leaflets over Gaza urging residents to evacuate by mid-day Sunday.
Posted at 8:34 AM, Jul 13, 2014

​Thousands of Palestinians are fleeing their homes. (Via Getty Images

Sunday morning the Israeli air force dropped leaflets instructing Gaza residents to evacuate before midday or risk their own safety — as seen in this video released by the Israel Defense Forces.

The IDF is now targeting some residential areas in the Gaza strip. An Israeli warplane struck the home of the Gaza police chief Saturday night, killing 18 people. (Via Times of Israel

Two Palestinian women were among those killed when separate strikes aimed at Hamas hit a mosque and a center for the disabled Saturday. (Via The New York Times

The IDF says it has launched more than 1,100 Israeli strikes in the past week, in response to 800 rockets fired at Israel. (Via Twitter / IDFSpokesperson) ​

“Our goal is to end the rocket fire from Gaza on our civilians. Hamas must understand that it cannot continue to shoot rockets at Israel.” (Via Euronews

Israel says it has no choice but to target civilian areas because Hamas is using civilians as human shields — hiding weapons in schools, mosques and homes. (Via Getty Images

But critics of Israel’s offensive say the attacks are disproportionate. Here's how the executive director of the Palestine Center in Washington D.C. put it to Al Jazeera. 

YOUSEF MUNAYYER: “Escalation is mostly determined by the ability to inflict casualties. It's the Israeli side that retake place a monopoly on the ability to inflict casualties.” (Via Al Jazeera

So far, no casualties on the Israeli side. But at least 166 Palestinians have died, according to health officials in Gaza. Seventy-seven percent of those casualties, the UN says, were civilians. (Via ITN

Adam Taylor at The Washington Post explains why rocket fire from Hamas has done far less damage. The rockets are not sophisticated, and they either fail to land in populated areas or lack the firepower to cause casualties when they do.”

Not to mention, Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system has been very effective at intercepting the rockets. (Via Israel Defense Forces

For its part, Hamas made no secret of the fact that it is intentionally targeting civilians. A spokesperson said last week all Israelis have become legitimate targets.