Hamas leader says Palestinians will not leave Gaza

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Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, said in a televised speech that Palestinians will not leave Gaza or the West Bank and migrate to Egypt.

“Our decision is to remain in our land,” Haniyeh added, while addressing Egypt in that part of the speech.

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Egypt shares a border with Gaza and has been alarmed by the possibility that the enclave’s residents could be displaced by Israel’s siege and bombardment of the territory, launched in retaliation for a devastating incursion by Hamas militants.

Like other Arab states, Egypt has said that Palestinians should stay on their lands as the war escalates, and that it is working to secure delivery of aid into the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Friday that Palestinian civilians “who want to save their lives” must heed Israel’s warning to evacuate southward in Gaza.

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