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Palestinians flee northern Gaza after Israel orders mass evacuation with ground attack looming
Palestinians scrambled to flee northern Gaza after Israel’s military told about 1 million people to leave for the southern part of the besieged territory
JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinians scrambled to flee northern Gaza after Israel's military urged about 1 million people to leave for the territory's south ahead of an expected ground invasion following the surprise attack a week ago by the ruling Hamas militant group — despite warnings from the U.N. that evacuating nearly half of Gaza's population would be calamitous.
Families in cars, trucks and donkey carts packed with their possessions crowded a main road southward from Gaza City as Israeli airstrikes hammered the territory Friday. Hamas’ media office said warplanes struck cars fleeing south, killing more than 70 people.
The Israeli military said its troops conducted temporary raids into Gaza to battle militants and hunted for traces of some 150 people abducted in Hamas’s assault on Israel nearly a week ago.
In urging the evacuation, Israel’s military said it planned to target underground Hamas hideouts around Gaza City. But Palestinians and some Egyptian officials fear that Israel ultimately hopes to push Gaza’s people out through the southern border with Egypt.