Amid Israel’s ongoing war to eliminate Hamas terrorists from the Gaza Strip, one Palestinian dentist has explained in detail about an hours-long phone call with Israeli intelligence agents warning him to evacuate his area and warn others before a bombing.
Israel has continued to strike at Hamas throughout Gaza in response to the horrific terrorist attack on October 7 that killed more than 1,400 Israelis, left at least 5,300 injured, and led to the kidnapping of 240 people. However, in an attempt to avoid civilian casualties, Israeli intelligence often warns Gaza residents of impending strikes, telling them to evacuate the area — despite knowing that these warnings could allow terrorists to escape.
Not all of these warnings succeed, as Hamas often purposely prevents civilians from escaping in order to create civilian casualties to rally support for their cause.
Following the IDF's warning, residents of the Gaza Strip began to evacuate from their homes to south of the Wadi Gaza for their own protection. Hamas obstructed and prevented the safe passage of residents in the Gaza Strip moving along central roads. pic.twitter.com/ucLyKq8xdm
— Israeli Air Force (@IAFsite) October 14, 2023
Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh recently admitted that the terrorist group wanted Palestinian “children, women and elderly” to die in the Israel-Hamas war because they “need this blood” to awaken a “revolutionary spirit.”
IN HIS OWN WORDS: Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh, from the comfort of his home in Qatar: "We need the blood of women, children, and the elderly of #Gaza… so as to awaken our revolutionary spirit."
Listen to this vile terrorist scum sacrifice his own people, while living in the… pic.twitter.com/GL7ZTfa5Dw
— Embassy of Israel to the USA | #IsraelUSA75 (@IsraelinUSA) October 27, 2023
However, many of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) efforts to evacuate civilians ahead of strikes have succeeded, including a phone call to Palestinian dentist Mahmoud Shaheen on October 19.
Shaheen recalled the phone conversation in an interview with the BBC.
“I’m speaking with you from Israeli intelligence,” a man reportedly told him in perfect Arabic, addressing him by his name.
“He told me he wanted to bomb three towers … and ordered me to evacuate the surrounding area,” the Gaza resident explained.
He told the outlet that he had been suspicious that the phone call was fake, and asked for a warning shot to be fired. He then heard a warning shot fired at a nearby building. “I asked him to ‘shoot another warning shot before you bomb,” Shaheen reportedly told the BBC, noting that another warning shot was fired.
Shaheen then explained that he tried to stall the IDF’s attack, to which the man told him that he would give him the time because he did not want anyone to die.
“Why do you want to bomb?” Shaheen reportedly asked, prompting the reply: “There are some things that we see that you don’t see.”
After a nearby tower was hit, the man on the phone said: “This is the tower that we want, stay away.”
Following the bombing, the man reportedly told Shaheen: “We’ve finished… you can go back.”
However, Shaheen then received a call later that day from another man warning him that additional buildings had been targeted and he and his neighbors needed to evacuate again.
“He even told me, ‘Take your time. I won’t bomb unless you give me permission,’” Shaheen recalled.
He then asked the man where he and his neighbors should evacuate to, recalling: “He said, ‘Either take them east or west.’ I said, ‘To take them east will be hard because to the east of al-Zahra is Al Mughraqa — an already unsafe area. People were already scared to go there.’”
“He told me, ‘Take them west to Palestine Street.’ I suggested the University of Palestine and he said yes,” Shaheen added.
The IDF has previously released audio of other phone calls to Gaza residents warning them to evacuate, including one where “the local resident can be heard telling the Israeli officer that Hamas was shooting at people trying to flee south,” according to the Times of Israel.
IDF releases an audio recording of an officer in the Military Intelligence Directorate's Unit 504 — which specializes in HUMINT — speaking to a Gazan man, during which he describes how Hamas is preventing people from evacuating from the northern part of the Gaza Strip. pic.twitter.com/VgMJO3SzVo
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) October 26, 2023