The Israeli army has dropped leaflets over parts of southern Gaza, featuring verses from the Quran, as part of its psychological warfare against Hamas.
The leaflets, which were dropped on Wednesday, contained a verse from Surah Al-Qamar, which reads: “And the flood carried away the wrongdoers”. The verse is interpreted by some as a reference to the destruction of the people of Noah, who were punished by God for their disbelief and corruption.
The leaflets also warned the residents of Khan Younis and nearby areas to evacuate their homes and head towards known shelters, as the Israeli military was planning to intensify its ground operation in the south of the enclave.
The leaflets were met with mixed reactions by the Gazans, who saw them as a sign of disrespect and provocation. Some said the leaflets were an attempt to manipulate their religious sentiments and sow division among them. Others said the leaflets were a sign of desperation and weakness by the Israeli army, which was unable to defeat Hamas militarily.
The leaflet campaign is not the first time the Israeli army has used psychological warfare against Hamas and the Gazans. In previous conflicts, the army has used phone calls, text messages, radio broadcasts, and social media to spread misinformation, demoralize the fighters, and persuade civilians to cooperate with Israel.
The Israeli army has also dropped leaflets over other areas in the region, such as Syria’s Quneitra, where it warned the residents to stay away from the border and the Iranian-backed militias that were operating there.
The leaflet campaign comes amid a worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza.