Hamas initiated “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood”, firing 5,000 rockets into Israel from Gaza. Following this, armed personnel penetrated parts of southern Israel.
Mohammad Deif, a top-tier Hamas military official, communicated the commencement of this operation via a Hamas media broadcast. Urging Palestinians universally to engage in combat, he proclaimed, “This is the day of the greatest battle to end the last occupation on earth.” The broadcast also confirmed the massive rocket deployment.
Immediate Aftermath and Reactions
Reacting to the onslaught, Magen David Adom emergency services reported one Israeli casualty due to a rocket impact. Alongside, as per AFP, 15 others were injured, with two sustaining serious injuries. Eyewitness accounts and various media sources shared that armed individuals had targeted pedestrians in Sderot, a town in southern Israel. Perturbing visuals from social media indicated intense confrontations in various urban locales.
In an urgent statement, the Israeli military confirmed, “A number of terrorists have infiltrated from the Gaza Strip into Israel.” Subsequently, residents neighbouring the Gaza Strip were advised to remain indoors for safety. The military vowed a robust defence: “The Israeli Defence Forces will protect Israeli citizens, and Hamas will face severe repercussions.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to confer with high-ranking security officials regarding these developments.
Reports from Gaza highlighted discernible launch sounds, with residents noting violent skirmishes near the division fence with Israel, specifically close to the southern town of Khan Younis.
Furthermore, Israel’s ambulance service has dispatched teams to vulnerable zones near Gaza, emphasizing safety directives for residents to stay inside their homes.