Gaza, MINA – The Palestinian resistance movement in the Gaza Strip, Hamas on Saturday, announced the start of a massive military operation against Israel, in response to the ongoing desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by the Israeli occupation authorities and Jewish extremists.
Thousands of rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. As quoted from Al Jazeera’s live update, one person was reported dead and 15 people injured, Israeli medical workers said.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held an emergency meeting with his security cabinet as Israel raised its alert to the highest level, which is equivalent to ‘war.’
Rocket fire started from several locations in Gaza starting at 06:30 local time (03:30 GMT) and continued for almost half an hour, the Agence France-Presse news agency reported.
Mohammed Deif, a senior Hamas military commander, later announced the start of the military operation in a broadcast on Hamas media, calling on Palestinians to join the fight.
Deif said the rockets fired marked the start of “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm,” according to reports.
“We decided to say enough is enough,” Deif said, urging all Palestinians to confront Israel.
“This is the day of the greatest battle to end the last occupation of the earth,” he said, adding that 5,000 rockets had been launched.
Wafa News Agency, reported that two Palestinians were killed this morning and many others were injured, some seriously, in Israeli shelling east of the Bureij refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip.
This was the result of a firefight between groups of resistance fighters in the Gaza Strip and Israeli occupation forces, where life stopped in the blockaded maritime enclave.
The Israeli military announced the continuation of firefights in seven areas around the Gaza Strip and the occupied southern Palestinian territories.
Meanwhile, the Israeli military asked Israelis living around the Gaza Strip to stay in their homes and warned that Hamas would pay a “heavy price for its actions.”
Israeli media reported armed fighters shooting at passersby in the southern Israeli town of Sderot, and footage circulating on social media showed uniformed Palestinian fighters involved in clashes in the border town. Other videos on social media showed Israeli tanks on fire. (T/RE1/P2)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)