Not long after the Israel-Hamas truce took effect yesterday, Palestinians, variously reported as numbering in the hundreds to tens of thousands, began heading north in an effort to return to their homes, if they still have any, in northern Gaza. The surge came despite the IDF dropping leaflets all across Gaza warning people not to come north.
The Israeli side accused Hamas of calling on Gazans to return to the north of the Strip. The IDF wants civilians to stay out of northern Gaza, because otherwise their presence complicates “Israel’s declared determination to resume its war to destroy Hamas at the end of the truce,” reported the Times of Israel yesterday. IDF troops resorted to anti-riot measures and even gunfire to try to stop the crowds from coming, killing 2 and wounding 11 others.