Hamas tells Israeli civilians to get out of Ashkelon NOW or face death

Hamas tells Israeli civilians to get out of Ashkelon city NOW or face death…after IDF warned they had ‘nowhere to hide’ and were launching ‘extensive attacks’ on Gaza

  • Israel today warned Hamas they had ‘nowhere to hide’ amid intensive airstrikes
  • Read our Israel-Hamas live blog to stay up-to-date with all latest developments

Hamas today warned Israeli civilians to get out of the port city of Ashkelon now or face death ‘in response to the airstrikes’ that are relentlessly pounding the Gaza strip, suggesting that more bloodshed is imminent. 

The terrorists refused to hand over Israeli hostages until the fighting ends – a day after they threatened to execute Israeli civilian captives if the airstrikes continued. 

It comes after Israel warned Hamas they had ‘nowhere to hide’ and that its air force was launching ‘extensive attacks’ on the Palestinian terrorist group in revenge for its deadly surprise incursion that saw hundreds of Israelis slaughtered.

Israeli forces have already used its strike force of 600 plans and 300 rocket launchers to relentlessly pound the Gaza strip, with airstrikes and artillery destroying thousands of Hamas targets and killing 770 Palestinians.

But Israel today issued a fresh warning to Hamas, with the military saying the terrorists have ‘nowhere to hide’ in Gaza and that its air force was carrying out ‘extensive’ airstrikes in waves of every four hours. 

‘We will reach them everywhere,’ military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said, hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to obliterate Hamas. 

Netanyahu, who first came to power in Israel in 1996 and has served three separate terms, compared Hamas to the Islamic State group and said Israel planned to deploy ‘unprecedented force’ that would ‘reverberate for generations’.

But in response to the airstrikes, Hamas’s armed wing warned the residents of Ashkelon to leave before 5pm Israeli time (3pm UK time) or face death. A spokesman for the militant group’s armed unit Al Qassam announced that it would attack the southern city of Askelon with rockets. 

Palestinians carry a wounded man at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday following Israeli airstrikes

A Palestinian man carries the body of a child killed in overnight Israeli shelling during a funeral in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip

People sleep in a bomb shelter as rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, in Ashkelon, southern Israel on Tuesday 

Israeli soldiers walk through the remains of a residential area of Kibbutz Kfar Aza, in southern Israel, on Tuesday 

Israeli soldiers carry a dead body as they collect bodies following attacks by Hamas terrorists at Kibbutz Kfar Aza, in southern Israel, on Tuesday

Israeli journalists take cover during a rocket attack from Gaza in the southern Israeli kibbutz of Kfar Aza near the border with the Palestinian territory, on Tuesday

Palestinians walk through debris amid the destruction from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City’s al-Rimal neighbourhood on Tuesday 

A view of the rubble of buildings hit by an Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, on Tuesday

‘In response to the enemy’s crime of displacing our people and forcing them to flee their homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, we give the residents of the occupied city of Ashkelon a deadline to leave it by 5pm this evening,’ the Al Qassam Bridgades said.

Minutes after the sinister warning was made, Hamas claimed it had launched rockets at Israel’s international Ben Gurion airport, located just 38 miles from the port city. But this claim was quickly denied by a spokesperson at the airport, who said it had not been hit by any rockets and that operations there continue. 

Hamas mounted a huge rocket barrage at central Israel, including the country’s main city Tel Aviv, at 3.30pm today, in which two civilians died. A second attack followed less than 20 minutes later.

Hamas also warned today it will not hand over hostages until the fighting ends – a day after they warned they would execute Israeli civilian captives if the airstrikes continued. 

Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas leader, told NBC News the terrorist group is not open to a prisoner exchange, before issuing the sinister message: ‘The colonial occupation will pay a price for the devastation inflicted upon the Palestinians in Gaza.’ 

Prior reports had suggested that Qatar had been mediating a potential swap of Israeli hostages in exchange for imprisoned Palestinians. It comes after Hamas warned late last night it would begin executing Israeli civilian captives.

‘Every targeting of our people without warning will be met with the execution of one of the civilian hostages,’ Hamas’ armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, said in a statement. 

Hamas militants abducted up to 150 people, including women and children, from Israeli territory and dragged them back in Gaza amid their ruthless slaughter.

There has still been no complete official count of the dead and missing from Saturday’s attacks – but Israeli media say more than 900 Israelis have been killed, including 260 young revellers who were slaughtered at a music festival. 

In the southern town of Be’eri, where more than 100 bodies have been retrieved, volunteers in yellow vests and face masks solemnly carried the dead out of homes on stretchers.

A long, wide trail of blood wound along the floor of a house where bodies had been dragged out to the street from a blood-soaked kitchen strewn with overturned furniture. 

In response, Netanyahu, 73, said in a nationally televised address late last night: ‘We have only started striking Hamas. What we will do to our enemies in the coming days will reverberate with them for generations.

‘Hamas terrorists bound, burned and executed children. They are savages. Hamas is ISIS,’ Netanyahu concluded.

At least 900 Israelis have been killed by the terrorists since they launched the surprise attack on Saturday. And in response Israel has pounded the Gaza strip with the fiercest ait strikes in the 75-year history of its conflict.

Thousands of Hamas targets have been wiped out in brutal aerial bombing campaigns, Israeli defence officials claimed, but harrowing clips circulating social media showed how the rockets and bombs also obliterated Palestinian residential blocks, killing hundreds of civilians. 

Military spokesman Richard Hecht told reporters on Tuesday that the bodies of some 1,500 Hamas militants had been found around the Gaza border following strikes, adding that security forces had ‘more or less restored control over the border’ with Gaza.

Israel also ordered a ‘complete siege’ of Gaza, cutting off electricity, fuel and food for the 2.3 million Palestinians who for the most part were already living in abject poverty.

The four-day-old war has already claimed at least 1,600 lives, as Israel saw gun battles in the streets of its own towns for the first time in decades and neighbourhoods in Gaza were reduced to rubble. 

Palestinians reported receiving calls and mobile phone audio messages from Israeli security officers telling them to leave areas mainly in the northern and eastern territories of Gaza, and warning that the army would operate there. 

At one point, the Israeli military advised Gaza civilians to flee to Egypt, only to issue a quick clarification confirming that the crossing was closed and there was no way out.

Palestinians carry a wounded man at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday following Israeli airstrikes 

A Palestinian man cries while carrying the body of a journalist killed in the Israeli airstrikes on Tuesday 

Palestinians perform funeral prayer during the funeral ceremony of Palestinian journalists Saeed Al-Taweel, Mohammad Sobh and other people including children who were killed in Israeli airstrikes, in Khan Yunis, Gaza, on Tuesday 

sraeli soldiers remove the body of a compatriot, killed during an attack by the Palestinian militants, in Kfar Aza, south of Israel bordering Gaza Strip on Tuesday 

Israeli soldiers prepare to remove the bodies of their compatriots, killed during an attack by the Palestinian militants, in Kfar Aza, south of Israel bordering Gaza Strip, on Tuesday 

Israeli soldiers drive in a military vehicle by Israel’s border with Gaza in southern Israel on Tuesday 

Israeli soldiers take position at Kibbutz Kfar Aza, in southern Israel, on Tuesday 

Palestinians walk through a ravaged street following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City on Tuesday

Rockets fired from Gaza are neutralized in the air by Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ air defense system on the fourth day of the clashes in the city of Ashkelon, Israel on Tuesday 

A Palestinian youth sits in front of a charred building as a fire rages through its interior, following Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City’s al-Rimal district on Tuesday 

Uri, 83, talks on the phone after a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip damaged his home when it landed in Ashkelon, southern Israel on Tuesday

Israeli media said the death toll from the Hamas attacks had climbed to 900 people, mostly civilians gunned down in their homes, on the streets or at a dance party, dwarfing the scale of any past attack by Islamists apart from 9/11. Scores of Israelis were taken to Gaza as hostages, with some paraded through the streets. 

On Tuesday morning, air raid sirens were blaring in cities across Israel, suggesting Hamas was launching another salvo of rockets. 

Israel and Hamas have had repeated conflicts in past years, often sparked by tensions around a Jerusalem holy site. 

But this time, the context has become more explosive. 

The surprise weekend attack by Hamas left a death toll unseen since the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria, fomenting calls for Israel to crush Hamas no matter the cost, rather than continuing to try to bottle it up in Gaza. 

Israel is run by its most hard-right government ever, dominated by ministers who adamantly reject Palestinian statehood.

Hamas, in turn, says it is ready for a long battle to end an Israeli occupation it says is no longer tolerable. Desperation has grown among Palestinians, many of whom see nothing to lose under unending Israeli control and increasing settler depredations in the West Bank, the blockade in Gaza and what they see as the world’s apathy.

A fireball erupts from an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on October 9, 2023

The death toll from the unprecedented assault by Palestinian militant group Hamas on its territory rose to 900 in Israel, which has retaliated with a withering barrage of strikes on Gaza (pictured)

Palestinians inspect the damage following an Israeli airstrike on the Sousi mosque in Gaza City on October 9, 2023

Palestinian men cry as they mourn the dead following Israeli air strikes in Gaza

Palestinians transport a captured Israeli civilian from Kibbutz Kfar Azza into the Gaza Strip on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023

Sitting on the back of a terrorist’s motorcycle, her outstretched arms pointing towards her helpless boyfriend, student Noa Argamani pleads for her life as Hamas militants abduct her and drive her into Gaza

Hamas militants abducted up to 150 people, including women and children, from Israeli territory and dragged them back in Gaza amid their ruthless slaughter

Covered bodies of dead Palestinians lie on the floor at the Al-Shifa hospital after an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, 09 October 2023

Mourners carry the body of a Palestinian killed in the Israeli strikes, in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip October 10, 2023

Hamas published footage showing for the first time the homemade Mubar 1 short-range air defence system on Monday Oct 9, 2023

On Monday, thousands of Israelis were evacuated from more than a dozen towns near Gaza, and tanks and drones were deployed to guard breaches in the Gaza border fence against new incursions. 

Hand-to-hand combat, fatal booby traps and the risk of friendly fire: How Israel hostage rescue operation will unfold, and the deadly dangers they face 

In the Gaza Strip, tens of thousands fled their homes as airstrikes levelled buildings.

The moves, along with Israel’s formal declaration of war on Sunday, pointed to Israel increasingly shifting to the offensive against Hamas, threatening greater destruction in the densely populated, impoverished region where 2.3 million people live on top of each other in squalid conditions.

Israel said it had called up 300,000 army reservists for its ‘Swords of Iron’ campaign, while the IDF said it struck hundreds of Hamas targets in Gaza’s City Rimal neighbourhood, which is home to Hamas’ ministries and governing buildings, overnight.

IDF spokesman Richard Hecht said Gazans were being told to evacuate ‘over social media’ before strikes, but did not give details.

Also on Monday, Israel found more bodies from Hamas’ stunning weekend attack into southern Israeli towns. 

Rescue workers found 108 bodies in the tiny farming community of Be’eri – around 10 per cent of its population – after a long hostage standoff with gunmen.

More than 270 bodies, mostly young people, were strewn across the site of a music festival in a Negev desert kibbutz after Hamas attackers used paragliders to cross the border and fire indiscriminately into the crowd. 

The Israeli military said more than 900 people already have been killed in Israel. 

In Gaza and the West Bank, 704 people have been killed, according to authorities there; Israel says hundreds of Hamas fighters are among them. Thousands have been wounded on both sides.

Israel pounded Hamas targets in Gaza on October 10 and said the bodies of 1,500 Islamist militants were found in southern towns recaptured by the army in gruelling battles near the Palestinian enclave

A Palestinian man stands in front of the ruins of a building destroyed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City

A fireball erupts during Israeli bombardment of Gaza City on October 9, 2023. Israel imposed a total siege on the Gaza Strip on October 9 and cut off the water supply as it bombed targets

People standing on a rooftop watch as a ball of fire and smoke rises above a building in Gaza City on October 7, 2023 during an Israeli air strike

Israeli soldiers gather at an area along the border with Gaza, southern Israel, 09 October 2023

A paramedic holds a little girl with her face full of blood and dirt from the effects of the bombing of Israeli planes in Gaza on Monday 

A paramedic holds a little girl crying after being pulled from the scene of the bombing Gaza on Monday 

A huge fireball engulfs part of the Gaza Strip following an Israeli airstrike

Israeli police officers evacuate a woman and a child from a site hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon

A missile explodes in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike on Sunday night 

In a video statement Monday, Israel’s foreign minister warned Hamas against harming any of the hostages who were taken from Israel and being held in Gaza. 

Eli Cohen said Israel was committed to bringing the hostages home ‘in the spirit of mutual responsibility.’

READ MORE: Innocent victims snatched by Hamas: Student, 25, screams ‘don’t kill me!’ as she is kidnapped from a rave by militants who also nab mother, 34, and her two young girls in terrifying series of raids into Israel – leaving Middle East on brink of all-out war

‘We demand Hamas not to harm any of the hostages, Cohen said. ‘This war crime will not be forgiven,’ he added.

Hamas seized more than 100 hostages amid their surprise attacks this weekend, forcibly deporting some soldiers as well as innocent civilian women and even children back into Gaza.  

Unsettling footage showed women being marched into vehicles, bloodied and bruised, often with their hands bound behind their backs.

A student who attended a desert rave and a mother and her two young girls were among the innocent victims snatched on Saturday.

Particularly shocking footage showed the abduction of Noa Argamani, 25, a student who was torn from her boyfriend’s arms and driven away on the back of a militant’s motorcycle as she screamed and pleaded for her life.

As violence escalates, Israel has responded with devastating airstrikes into the Gaza Strip, bringing down residential buildings they say contained military infrastructure.

The Israel Defense Forces announced on October 9 it had carried out more than 500 strikes on targets across the Gaza Strip overnight.

Palestinian officials said almost 500 people were killed, including 91 children, and over 2,700 were injured.

The death toll is expected to rise significantly. 

The Palestinian news agency WAFA said an airstrike early on Monday hit a market area ‘killing and wounding dozens and causing heavy destruction’.

A school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) was also hit in the attack on the camp.

‘The school was severely damaged and was housing about 225 people, though no casualties were recorded among the displaced, but the school sustained significant structural damage,’ UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told a daily press briefing. 

All UNRWA schools across the Gaza Strip are closed, and more than 300,000 people students are impacted, according to the UN. 

The Times of Gaza reported ‘dozens’ had been ‘killed and burned alive’ during the attacks on Jabalia in northern Gaza Strip.

Palestinians search for survivors after an Israeli airstrike on buildings in the refugee camp of Jabalia in the Gaza Strip on October 9, 2023

A Palestinian mourns the death of her relative following an Israeli airstrike on the refugee camp of Jabalia in the Gaza Strip on October 9, 2023

Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike on Gaza City, 9 October 2023

A smoke rises and ball of fire over a buildings in Gaza City on October 9, 2023

Palestinian officials said almost 500 people were killed, including 91 children, and over 2,700 were injured in the strikes. Pictured: smoke rises over Gaza on October 9 

Palestinians sit among rubbles of a damaged residential building, in the aftermath of Israeli strikes, in Gaza City, October 10, 2023

With no sign of either side losing momentum, Israel declared a ‘complete siege’ of the Strip on Monday, ensuring ‘no electricity, no food, no fuel’ would reach the 2.3mn people living there.

The country’s defence minister said: ‘We are fighting human animals, and we act accordingly.’ 

The EU also said it would review all of its development funding to the Palestinian territories in response to Hamas’ attack on Israel. 

Brussels was later pushed to clarify this would not include humanitarian aid. 

Speaking from Jerusalem on Monday evening, Thomas Helm, Jerusalem Correspondent at The National, told MailOnline he had witnessed missiles hitting the city today, injuring a ten-year-old child.

He suggested there are no indications at present of the conflict waning. 

He said: ‘The thinking has been that [Hamas] launched their [strongest missiles] in the first barrage. But if they are still hitting Jerusalem now, it shows they still have a desire to escalate.’

With today’s response of a ‘complete siege’ of Gaza, Israel is now ‘trying to prepare their backers’ for the possibility that ‘this is going to be a long war’, Helm added. 

Some 300,000 reservists have been called up as Israel desperately looks to turn the tide. 

‘I got caught in a firefight and some of the the Israeli troops engaging were 70, 75-years-old,’ Helm said.

He suggested it was unlikely the threat of executing hostages would do much to deter Israeli airstrikes.

Along with hundreds of other young Israelis, Noa (pictured) and Avi had been enjoying a peace festival in the desert when they were forced to flee for their lives

A plume of smoke rises in the sky of Gaza City during an Israeli airstrike on October 9, 2023

Israeli emergency responders inspect a damaged car after a barrage of rockets that were launched from the Gaza Strip landed in the Israeli settlement of Beitar Ilit, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank October 9, 2023

The spiralling conflict has been felt globally, with oil prices surging on fears of tightening supplies.

US energy firm Chevron said it suspended operations at a natural gas platform off Israel’s coast at the request of authorities.

Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in a phone call that the Gulf kingdom was working to prevent the conflict spreading across the region, state media said early Tuesday.

Qatar meanwhile sought to mediate de-escalation talks with Israel and Hamas, aiming to secure a deal whereby both sides release captives.

The ongoing negotiations, which Qatar has been conducting in coordination with the United States since Saturday night, are ‘moving positively’ a source told Reuters earlier today.

‘We are in constant contact with all sides at the moment. Our priorities are to end the bloodshed, release the prisoners and make sure the conflict is contained with no regional spillover,’ foreign ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari said.

Reports of artillery shelling and gunfire near the Israel-Lebanon border fuelled growing fears that the fighting could spread to other areas in the region, should Israel’s opponents decide to strike against it following the attacks by Hamas during the weekend. 

Arab League foreign ministers are set to meet tomorrow to discuss ‘the Israeli aggression’ against Gaza, the group said. 

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