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Israel Calls for Civilians to Leave Gaza City as Military Amasses Tanks

They gave 1 million people 24 hours to vacate

On Friday, Israel called for all civilians in the northern half of the Gaza Strip, more than 1 million people, to relocate south within 24 hours, as it amassed tanks for an expected ground assault in response to an attack by the militant group Hamas.

Hamas, which controls the strip, told residents to stay put and vowed to fight to the last drop of blood. By Friday afternoon there was no sign of any mass exodus as Israel prepared its onslaught.

"Death is better than leaving," said Mohammad, 20, standing in the street outside a building reduced to rubble in an Israeli air strike two days ago near the centre of Gaza. "I was born here, and I will die here, leaving is a stigma."

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