13 Jul 2014

‘The IDF needs to target the building close to you’

The Israeli army releases video footage claiming to demonstrate the warnings given to civilians before targeting buildings in the latest bombardment of Gaza.

Despite intensified Israeli military action – which included a commando raid overnight in what was Israel’s first reported ground action in Gaza during the current fighting – Palestinian militants continued to launch rockets across the border.

The first part of the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) warning video contains a conversation between an army official and a Palestinian resident of Gaza in which he is warned ahead of the targeting of a building said to be used by militants.

Those who fail to comply with the instructions to leave immediately will endanger their lives. Beware.

Another video showed the “knock on the roof” bombing method, the army said, intended to warn civilians to distance themselves from the target ahead of Israeli air strikes.

Israeli forces also dropped leaflets in the town of Beit Lahiya near Gaza’s northern border with Israel.

They read: “Those who fail to comply with the instructions to leave immediately will endanger their lives and the lives of their families. Beware.”

Israeli airstrikes smash into Gaza as thousands flee. (Getty)

The Israeli military told the residents of three of Beit Lahiya’s 10 neighbourhoods to get out of the town of 70,000 by midday on Sunday.

UN officials said some 4,000 people had fled south to eight schools run by the world body in Gaza City.

Palestinian officials said at least 160 people have been killed since the start of the latest six-day assault.

‘Strike with might’

A senior Israeli military officer, in a telephone briefing with foreign reporters, said Israel would “strike with might” in the Beit Lahiya area from the late evening hours on Sunday.

'This is the IDF: We will blow up your house in five minutes' 

At schools run by the United Nations in Gaza City, residents arrived in donkey carts filled with children, luggage and mattresses, while others came by car or taxi.

One man, still in his pyjamas, said some inhabitants had received phone calls warning them to clear out.