The Slatest

Israel Warns Palestinians to Evacuate After Bombing Mosque, Clinic for Disabled

Palestinian men inspect the rubble of a destroyed mosque following an Israeli military strike in the Nusseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on Saturday

Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

As the United Nations called for a cease-fire, Israel warned residents of northern Gaza that they should leave their homes “for their own safety” late on Saturday night. Gaza officials, however, told residents to ignore Israel’s warnings, saying they were part of a “psychological warfare” campaign. The sign that an escalation in Israel’s aerial campaign against Hamas and jihad fighters was imminent came on the same day as a mosque and a center for the disabled were bombed. Israel says aerial photos showed the mosque was being used to hide weapons, reports the New York Times. More than 156 Palestinians have been killed over the past five days, according to the Associated Press.

In another sign that a cease-fire is not imminent, Israel put an eight missile interceptor battery in service Saturday to try to prevent rockets being fired from Gaza from hitting Israeli cities. No Israelis have been killed by the rockets fired from Gaza, although the sheer number is much higher than Israel expected, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council released a statement after days of discussion on wording that would be acceptable to both Arab nations and the U.S., according to the BBC. All 15 members agreed on text that calls for “de-escalation of the situation, restoration of calm, and reinstitution of the November 2012 ceasefire” as well as “respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.”