Israel Palestine Conflict

Israel announces three-hour Gaza highway clearance for evacuees

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The Israeli military said it would enable Palestinians to travel on a main Gaza Strip highway on Saturday as part of its three-week-old efforts to encourage civilians to evacuate southward away from areas that are the focus of its war with Hamas.

In a social media post in Arabic, the military said the Salah a-Din road could be used between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. (1100 GMT and 1400). “If you care about yourself and your loved ones, heed our instruction to head south,” it added.

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Israel last month ordered all civilians to leave the northern part of the Gaza Strip, including Gaza City where it says Hamas militants are hiding in tunnels, and head to the south of the enclave.

It has continued to bomb the whole enclave, saying the militants are hiding among civilians, and many people have stayed in the north, where they say they now feel trapped.

Israel said late on Thursday its forces had encircled Gaza City after earlier this week cutting off the northern Gaza Strip from the south of the enclave near to Gaza Wadi.

It has said it wants to destroy Hamas, which carried out an attack on Israeli fortifications and towns on October 7 that Israel says killed 1,400 people, as well as seizing 240 hostages.

Health authorities in the Hamas-run enclave say Israel has killed 9,488 people including 3,900 children during nearly three weeks of intense air and artillery strikes.

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