As Israel’s deadline for Palestinians to evacuate the Gaza strip is approaching, thousands of Gazans are fleeing their homes fearing the deadliest ground offensive they have ever witnessed in their lives. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel’s week-long retaliation against Hamas’ “surprise” attack last week was “just the beginning”. Over a million Gazans face a 24 hours deadline on Friday to flee to the south even as many chose to stay back as Hamas has vowed to dug its heels in and fight “to the last drop of blood”. Ahead of the deadline ending, Israeli forces made “localised” raids in Gaza in the last 24 hours “to cleanse the area of terrorists” and try to find “missing persons”.
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Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations called for a “humanitarian cease-fire” in the Gaza Strip and Israel on Friday, while blaming the United States for the ongoing conflict. The Russian draft resolution, presented to the Security Council, calls for an “immediate” ceasefire and the secure release of all hostages, and “strongly condemns all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and all acts of terrorism.”