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Tens of thousands of Israelis have fled their homes along the border with the Gaza Strip, reflecting growing fear and frustration over the war with Hamas and the Palestinian mortar fire raining down on their communities. With the school year fast approaching, the government began offering assistance to residents Monday–in the first large-scale voluntary evacuation in nearly eight weeks of fighting. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned residents of Gaza to stay away from rocket launching sites, for their own safety: Officials estimate that 70 percent of the 40,000 inhabitants of the farming communities along the Gaza border have left, including hundreds on Monday. Dov Hartuf, a resident of Nahal Oz in Israel, where a four year old boy was recently killed by flying shrapnel, says peace is the only solution remaining:



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