Hezbollah 'fully prepared' to join Hamas in war with Israel as leaflets are dropped warning 1.1m to flee Gaza in 24hrs | The Sun

LEBANON'S Iran-backed Hezbollah has insisted it is "fully prepared" to join Hamas in its bloody war with Israel.

Fears of escalation come as leaflets are dropping in Gaza warning more than 1 million citizens to flee its northern parts as Israel's military prepares to unleash their troops.

Foreign powers have urged Hezbollah to stay put on the sidelines – but deputy chief Naim Qassem vowed to join "when the time comes for action".

He told supporters gathered in the southern Beirut suburb: "The behind-the-scenes calls with us by great powers, Arab countries, envoys of the United Nations, directly and indirectly telling us not to interfere will have no effect.

"Hezbollah knows its duties perfectly well. We are prepared and ready, fully ready, and be are following developments moment by moment."

The group has already clashed with Israel across the Lebanese border multiple times in the past week.

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Qassem added: "The question being asked, which everyone is waiting for, is: what Hezbollah will do and what will its contribution be?

"We will contribute to the confrontation within our plan… when the time comes for any action, we will carry it out."

As the bloody war rages into its seventh day, Israel has urged those living in Gaza City to flee their homes as the war-torn country aims to eradicate Hamas in revenge for its grisly assaults.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to crush Hamas terrorists after gunmen stormed over the border and brutally shot men, women and children.  

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Leaflets warning citizens of an "imminent attack" have been seen dropping into residential areas as panicked families grab their belongings and run.

Israel's military has been massing 360,000 soldiers on the border as it gets ready to discharge a huge ground offensive.

In a hint the expected invasion is imminent, the IDF warned: "This evacuation is for your own safety."

It added that Hamas militants are hiding inside tunnels underneath the city and inside buildings where citizens live.

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The IDF said: "In the following days, the IDF will continue to operate significantly in Gaza City and make extensive efforts to avoid harming civilians."

In the last 24 hours, at least 13 Israeli and foreign hostages being held in northern Gaza were killed in airstrikes.

But Hamas has called on Palestinians to stay in their homes as it dismissed orders as "fake propaganda".

The terrorist group took full control of the territory in 2007 after ousting the rival Fatah movement.

Meanwhile, the world is bracing itself for a so-called Day of Jihad after the founder of Hamas called for Friday to be a global day of rage against supporters of Israel.

Evil Khaled Mashal called for protests across the Muslim world in support of the Palestinians – saying he wanted their "blood and souls".

In France, a teacher has been knifed to death by a man shouting "Allahu Akbar".

And in China, an Israeli diplomat has been stabbed – while large crowds have attempted to storm the Israeli border with Jordan.

It comes as sweeping evacuation orders for almost half of Gaza's 2.3 million population were delivered shortly before midnight, UN officials said.

All 1.1 million have been told to leave north of Wadi Gaza including Gaza City for the south within 24 hours.

The Israeli military also sent an order directly Friday morning, warning the hundreds of thousands of civilians of Gaza City to flee deeper south into the Gaza Strip.

It sent panic rippling through civilians and workers already struggling under Israeli airstrikes and a blockade.


Inas Hamdan, an officer at the UN Palestinian refugee agency in Gaza City, said: "This is chaos, no one understands what to do."

She said all the UN staff in Gaza City and northern Gaza had been told to evacuate south to Rafah.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas day warned against a "second Nakba" catastrophe facing Palestinians after the Israeli army issued the evacuation warning.

Abbas "completely rejects the displacement of our people from the Gaza Strip, because it will be tantamount to a second Nakba for our people," he said, according to a statement published by the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

The Nakba, or "catastrophe", refers to some 760,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their homes during the 1948 war that coincided with Israel's creation.

Meanwhile, Nebal Farsakh, a spokesman for the Palestinian Red Crescent in Gaza City, said there was no way more than one million people could be safely moved that fast.

She said: "Forget about food, forget about electricity, forget about fuel.

"The only concern now is just if you're going to make it, if you're going to live.

"What will happen to our patients? We have wounded, we have elderly, we have children who are in hospitals."

Israel halted all deliveries of food, water, fuel and medicine to the tiny enclave after Hamas launched its assault on Saturday.

On Wednesday, Gaza's only power station ran out of fuel and shut down – leaving only lights powered by scattered private generators.

Harrowing photos showed blooded babies and children crammed into hospital wards as medics struggled with demand.

A senior official with the International Committee of the Red Cross warned that the lack of electricity could cripple hospitals.

Farsakh said many of the medics were refusing to evacuate hospitals and abandon patients.

The flurry of evacuation orders signals an already expected Israeli ground assault – but this has not been confirmed by the military yet.

UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps insisted Israel has the right to defend itself.

Speaking to Sky News, the Defence Secretary was asked if the order to evacuate northern Gaza is feasible and acceptable for the Israelis to ask.

Mr Shapps said: "Israel, unlike Hamas, is doing all it can to provide advance notice and warning in order that they can go after those terrorists who carried out those actions, and by the way have taken hostages as well.

"Hamas can bring all of this to an end, they can release the hostages, they can recognise not just Israel, remove from their founding charter the principle of eradicating all Jews from the earth."

He added: "Israel on the other hand has the perfect right to defend itself. It is doing that in a manner which is giving people warning in advance when they are going to go after areas."

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Israel has been plotting to unleash troops in Gaza after hundreds of Hamas terrorists rampaged for hours on Saturday and massacred at least 260 revellers at the peace festival.

They dragged an estimated 150 soldiers and civilians – including men, women, children and the elderly – into captivity in Gaza.

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