Picture Credit: MOHAMMED ABED / AFP
The Palestinian Islamist militant organization Hamas launched the biggest attack ‘ Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ on Israel in years, this past Saturday. Hamas took responsibility for the attack and confirmed that it had fired 5,000 rockets at Israel. Daniel Hagari, an Israeli army spokesman, stated that the attack involved aerial, naval, and ground operations against Israel in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian groups, who crossed the Israeli villages killed the villagers and also brought the hostages back into the Gaza Strip. Israel retaliated with heavy bombardment of the blockaded coastal enclave.
The Hamas commander said in a statement that the group attacked Israeli territory "in defence of Al-Aqsa," which had recently been seized by Israeli settlers. Between Palestine and Israel, the conflict over Al-Aqsa has long been a source of tension.. In a taped statement following the attack, Hamas military chief Muhammad Deif claimed that the strikes were in response to Israel's "desecration of the Al-Aqsa" mosque in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on October 7 tweeted on platform X (formerly Twitter): "Citizens of Israel, We are at war, not in an operation or rounds, but at war.” The Israeli army said that it launched “Operation Iron Swords” against the Hamas group in the Gaza Strip.
The timeline of the conflict between Hamas and Israel.
The conflict between Israel and Hamas started in 2005 when the Israeli forces unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, 38 years after capturing it from Egypt in the Middle Eastern War. The situation led to the enclave under the control of the Palestinian government. In January 2006, the Islamist group Hamas won a majority of seats in the Palestinian legislative elections. In June 2006, Hamas militants captured the Israeli army conscript Gilad Shalit in a cross-border raid from Gaza, which led to Israeli air strikes and incursions. Shalit was freed after five years in a prisoner exchange.
In June 2007, Hamas seized control of Gaza and drove out Fatah forces who support Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is stationed in the West Bank, in a brief civil war. In December 2008, Israel launched a 22-day military operation in Gaza after the Palestinians fired rockets at the southern Israeli town of Sderot.
On November 14, 2012, Ahmad Jabari, the head of the military for Hamas, was killed by Israel. Israeli airstrikes were then followed by eight days of militant Palestinian rocket fire.
In July and August 2014 following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli youths by Hamas, a seven-week conflict broke out in which more than 2,100 reported Palestinian deaths in Gaza and 73 Israelis, including 67 soldiers, reported dead.
Palestinian demonstrations started in March 2018 near the gated border between Israel and Gaza. To push back protests, Israeli soldiers started firing. In the course of many months of rallies, which also resulted in fighting between Hamas and Israeli forces, more than 170 Palestinians are reportedly dead.
In May 2021, during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, hundreds of Palestinians were injured at the Al Aqsa compound in Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam, following weeks of tension.
In Aug 2022, Israeli airstrikes on a senior Islamic Jihad commander sparked three days of rioting that resulted in at least 44 deaths, including 15 minors. Israel claims these attacks were a preventative measure against an impending assault by the Iran-supported terrorist movement. Islamic Jihad replied by launching more than 1,000 rockets towards Israel.
In January 2023, After Israeli troops raided a refugee camp and killed seven Palestinian gunmen and two civilians, an Islamic group in Gaza fired two rockets toward Israel. Although the rockets raised fear in Israeli neighborhoods close to the border, no one got hurt. Israel reacted by attacking Gaza with airstrikes.
Where did the attacks take place?
Missiles were launched as far north as Tel Aviv, while Hamas soldiers also attacked southern Israel. In the town of Sderot, gunmen reportedly opened fire on visitors. Hamas fighters had seized control of several Israeli settlements where residents were begging their government for help. According to the Israeli army, numerous fighter jets were bombing Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
According to the Times of Israel, gunfights are currently occurring in and around the communities of Kfar Aza, Sderot, Sufa, Nahal Oz, Magen, Be'eri, and the Re'im military installation.
How many casualties in Israel and Palestine?
According to the Times of Israel, medical experts have confirmed that more than 500 people have died due to the multi-front offensive by the Hamas terror group on Israel. Tragically, this number is expected to rise in the coming days. A startling 1,590 people have also been injured, many of whom are in severe condition.
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip have resulted in at least 232 fatalities and 1,700 injuries.
Allegations have arisen of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and civilians allegedly being kidnapped and taken into Gaza. According to The Guardian, Hamas has publicly asserted that there are more hostages than Israel is aware of.
Edited by - Sally( Anh) Ngo,
October 9, 2023
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