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Israel’s Menacing Leaflets and Posts to Justify Killing Civilians in Gaza

Wesam Abo Marq Wesam Abo Marq
24th October 2023
Israel’s Menacing Leaflets and Posts to Justify Killing Civilians in Gaza
Israeli officials maintain a social media presence where they convey threats (X)

Amidst the ongoing Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, Israel persists in dropping leaflets, urging Gaza residents to evacuate their homes. They warn that failure to do so may lead to fatal consequences or be perceived as support for terrorism. Moreover, Israeli officials maintain a social media presence where they convey menacing messages and rationalize lethal actions, contrary to their professed commitment to upholding civilian lives and ethical principles in their assault on the Gaza Strip.

Israel's Leaflets Threaten Gaza Residents

On October 13, Israeli forces dropped evacuation leaflets over Gaza City, urging residents to “immediately” depart to the southern areas, or they would be in danger.

The leaflet reads, “The terrorist organizations have started a war against the State of Israel, and the city of Gaza has become a battle zone. You must evacuate your home immediately and go south of Wadi Gaza. For your safety and security: You must not return to your home until further notice from the Israel Defense Forces. Public shelters in Gaza City must be evacuated. Do not approach the security fence - for your own safety and for the safety of your families. Anyone who approaches the security fence puts himself in mortal danger. You must evacuate your homes and go south of Wadi Gaza The Israel Defense Forces.”

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A screenshot of the leaflet (X)

On October 21, Israel once again spread leaflets, warning civilians in northern Gaza that those who failed to evacuate would be regarded as affiliated with terrorist groups.

This leaflet has sparked a buzz on social media, with many users expressing their dismay at the intimidating language used by the Israeli forces towards Gaza civilians, a situation that some view as putting hundreds of thousands of civilians at risk from Israeli forces.

Nicola Perugini, an Associate Professor at Edinburgh, published a photo of the leaflet, with the caption, “Apparently these leaflets were dropped by Israel on Gaza North today: “Anyone who chooses not to evacuate could be identified as an accomplice of a terrorist org.” Basically, they transform the hundreds of thousands of civilians who remained in their homes into killable subjects.”

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A screenshot of the leaflet (X)

Israeli Accounts Use Threatening Language

Israeli accounts that post in Arabic, including that of Avichay Adraee, the spokesperson for the Israeli forces in Arab media, assert that Israel provides advance notice to residents of the Gaza Strip before targeting their homes. Nevertheless, the reality in the Gaza Strip, as shown through various media outlets, tells a completely different story.

It becomes clear from the language used in Avichay Adraee's posts that it is purely threatening language and not a "warning" language aimed at preserving the safety of Gaza residents, as he claims. He used phrases such as “You have been warned” and “The gates of hell opened on Gaza.”

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A screenshot of Avichay Adraee’s post (X)
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A screenshot of Avichay Adraee’s post (X)

Is There a Safe Shelter in Gaza During Israeli Assaults?

Moreover, Adraee uses misleading and unclear directive phrases for the Gaza Strip's residents. He orders them to evacuate their homes or locations and head to "shelters" or other safe places in the city.

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A screenshot of Avichay Adraee’s post (X)

In reality, during Israeli assaults on Gaza, every location in the city faces the constant risk of bombardment at any time. Adraee's deceptive narrative does not align with the harsh reality of the situation, where the threat of airstrikes looms over the entire territory without viable options for protection.

Although Israel ordered civilians to seek shelter in South Gaza and spread leaflets, they have not stopped bombing civilians and killing them. As people were seeking refuge in the south for safety, an Israeli airstrike targeted a convoy of individuals leaving northern Gaza, resulting in the loss of 70 lives, primarily women and children.

On October 17, an Israeli airstrike targeted a U.N.-run school situated within a refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, resulting in the tragic deaths of at least six individuals, according to the U.N.'s Palestinian refugee agency.

The assault on the school, which is situated in the al-Maghazi refugee camp, has garnered significant condemnation. UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) described the incident as "outrageous" and a clear display of disregard for the safety of civilians. The agency further expressed deep concern that Gaza, including U.N. facilities, is no longer deemed a secure sanctuary for those seeking refuge from war.

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A screenshot of the Anadolu Agency’s article.

During any Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, following the "warnings" issued by the Israeli forces for residents to evacuate their homes, some citizens seek refuge in UNRWA schools, believing that these schools are safe havens.

Does Israel “Warn” Gaza Civilians Before Bombing Their Homes?

On October 9, media sources reported that Israeli military aircraft carried out an airstrike on a crowded market in the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, and notably, there was no prior warning issued. This area is recognized for its vitality and high population density, and the attack tragically resulted in the killing and injury of dozens of people who were at the site.

On October 8, Israel bombed a house belonging to the Shaaban family in the Nasr neighborhood in the western city of Gaza. The bombing resulted in the killing of the entire family, which consisted of the father, mother, and four children. The house was bombed without prior warning, leading to the complete loss of the family, according to eyewitnesses as reported by Anadolu Agency.

On the same day, Israel destroyed a house belonging to the Zaaneen family in Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, claiming the lives of around 20 family members, including children and women.

Salama Marouf, head of the government media office in Gaza, reported that Israel has committed massacres against 15 families so far by directly targeting and bombing their homes without prior warning.

Israel Kills On-Duty Gaza Journalists, Paramedics, and Civil Defense Members

As of October 24, the continued Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip have killed 23 Palestinian journalists who were on duty covering the Israeli attacks in Gaza.

According to Iyad Zaqout, Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Ambulance and Emergency, the Israeli occupation forces have killed 11 paramedics and left 27 others with various injuries as of October 15. 

Moreover, 23 ambulances have been destroyed and rendered non-operational after being targeted by Israeli actions. Zaqout emphasizes that the Israeli occupation deliberately disrupts the field capabilities of ambulance units, obstructing their vital mission of evacuating victims.

By October 16, Al Jazeera's correspondent had reported that seven members of the Civil Defense teams had been killed due to the ongoing Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. The Palestinian Red Crescent also documented 17 instances of violations against their medical personnel since the beginning of the Israeli assault on Gaza.

The correspondent further highlighted that three Civil Defense personnel were killed as a result of Israeli airstrikes targeting a Civil Defense headquarters in eastern Gaza. Moreover, four more Civil Defense members were killed during Israeli airstrikes that struck another Civil Defense headquarters in the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood in the southwest of Gaza. 

Israeli Ongoing Barbaric Aggression on Gaza

Since October 7, over 5,087 Palestinians have lost their lives in Israeli attacks on Gaza. About 2,000 of these casualties have been innocent children. Adding to the distress, Gaza, already under siege, has been subjected to an intensified "total" blockade by Israel, severely restricting the entry of essential provisions like food and water.

On October 21, the Rafah border crossing connecting Egypt and Gaza briefly opened, allowing a limited amount of crucial aid to reach the Palestinian population grappling with shortages of food, medication, and water within this besieged territory. Amidst these dire circumstances, approximately one-third of Gaza's hospitals have become inoperative, making the medical crisis all the more burdensome. 

Although the World Health Organization (WHO) has successfully delivered medical supplies to three vital hospitals in southern Gaza, there remains an urgent need to ensure that these provisions also reach the northern regions of the territory. The Indonesian Hospital, the largest medical facility in northern Gaza, experienced a power outage overnight due to a lack of fuel. 

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