Tens of thousands of people were observed fleeing northern Gaza on Friday after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) maintained an evacuation corridor to assist Palestinian civilians in relocating to southern Gaza. This move followed an unprecedented terrorist attack by Hamas on October 7, resulting in the murder of 1,400 Israelis, injuries to over 5,300, and the kidnapping of more than 240 individuals.
Hamas, recognized as an Islamic terrorist organization backed by Iran, has consistently used civilians as human shields, committing war crimes to deter Israeli strikes or generate media outrage when civilians are harmed. Israel, in response, announced a “safe corridor” for civilians to evacuate northern Gaza, refraining from targeting the area. The IDF undertook extensive efforts, including dropping pamphlets, making phone calls, sending text messages, and pre-recorded calls, urging residents to evacuate.
Reports indicate that Gazans attempting to leave have faced obstacles imposed by Hamas, including the confiscation of car keys and attacks on those trying to evacuate. Satellite imagery released by the IDF showed Hamas setting up roadblocks to prevent cars from leaving northern Gaza. Despite these challenges, Israel has demonstrated restraint, canceling airstrikes when civilians, including children, were present.
Hamas, in contrast, has fired 9,500 rockets and mortar shells into Israel, deliberately targeting civilians over the last month. The evacuation corridor provided by the IDF underscores Israel’s commitment to safeguarding the lives of Palestinian civilians amid the ongoing conflict with a terrorist organization that employs tactics violating international law.