The Israel Defense Forces delivered a message to Gazans on Tuesday amid an intensifying war with Hamas: Leave immediately.
“The Rafah crossing [with Egypt] is still open. Anyone who can get out, I would advise them to do so,” said IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht.
However, The IDF subsequently issued a revised directive.
“Clarification: The Rafah crossing was open yesterday, but now it is closed.”
Reuters reported on Tuesday that operations at Rafah have been disrupted by the ongoing conflict.
The Israeli military overnight Monday pounded more than 200 Hamas targets in Gaza, as the war sparked by the Palestinian terrorist group’s brutal Oct. 7 attack on the Jewish state entered its fourth day.
The military said it struck the shaft of an underground tunnel and other assets used by Hamas to penetrate Israeli territory on Saturday and indiscriminately murder at least 900 Israeli men, women and children.
Israeli Air Force fighter jets also struck a mosque containing a Hamas operations and command center used to coordinate this weekend’s Iran-backed invasion, in addition to “widespread” strikes against weapons depots and other terror infrastructure.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Israel’s conflict with Hamas as “a war for the home, a war to secure our existence” in an address to the nation on Monday.
“We have eliminated many hundreds of terrorists, and we will not stop there,” he said. “I said that every place in which Hamas hides will become a city of ruins. It’s already happening today. We have eliminated many hundreds of terrorists, and we will not stop there,” he added.
On Tuesday, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said the military had regained control of the Gaza border, after Palestinian terrorists blew up sections of the security fence during the attack Saturday morning.
“In the last day, not a single terrorist entered via the fence,” he said.
Israeli forces have also regained control of all the communities near the Gaza Strip, he added.
He warned, however, that there were still terrorists in the area, and Israel remains concerned over possible infiltration attempts via tunnels emanating from Gaza.
Hagari added that the military had called up 300,000 reservists during the past 48 hours.