Hamas on Friday rejected an Israeli order for 1.1 million residents to evacuate northern Gaza ahead of an expected ground incursion into the overcrowded Palestinian territory.
“Our Palestinian people reject the threat of the occupation (Israeli) leaders and its call for them to leave their homes and flee from them to the south or Egypt,” the Islamist militant group said in a statement.
“We are steadfast on our land and in our homes and our cities. There will be no displacement,” it said.
The United Nations said an order by Israel to flee within 24 hours risked a “calamitous situation”.
Israeli strikes on the coastal enclave have killed more than 1,530 people since Saturday, in retaliation for Hamas militants killing around 1,200 people in attacks in Israel.
Egypt’s Rafah crossing is the only route out of Gaza not controlled by Israel and has been bombed on several occasions this week.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Egypt remains committed to ensuring the delivery of aid to Gaza, but urged Palestinians to “remain on their land” in a speech Thursday.