An entire city in southern Israel has been warned it has less than half an hour to evacuate before an imminent Hamas attack.
More than 130,000 people living in Ashkelon have been told to abandon the area by 5pm local time, or 2pm GMT time.
Abu Ubaida, spokesperson of Hamas’ armed wing, made the threat earlier today on Telegram without giving any further details.
The Israeli city is based some 40 miles south of Tel Aviv and just a few miles north of the border with the Gaza Strip.
The militant group is likely to fire a rocket barrage from Gaza after this ‘deadline’.
It is a direct response to the devastating Israeli airstrikes, which have pounded the Gaza Strip in the last 48 hours, killing more than 700 Palestinians.
At the same time, air raid sirens sounded in Tel Aviv, warning of possible incoming rockets.
A map shared by an open source intelligence monitoring group shows a massive rocket attack on the major coastline city.
Footage taken by local media showed the Iron Dome, Israel’s air defence system, intercepting rockets over the Tel Aviv area.
More than 4,500 rockets have already been fired from the Hamas-governed Gaza into Israel since Saturday, the Israeli military says.
It comes as Israeli air Forces said two senior Hamas officials were killed in a strike on the south of the Strip.
The two men from Hamas’ political office – Jawad Abu Shammala and Zakaria Abu Maamar – were reportedly killed in Khan Younis.
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