In a significant escalation of tensions, Hamas, the Palestinian resistance group, launched a major military operation against Israel on Saturday. The operation, named “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood,” marks one of the largest Palestinian responses to Israeli oppression and comes as a reaction to the ongoing suffering endured by Palestinians, particularly in the Gaza Strip.
Operation Al-Aqsa Flood:
The offensive began around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, coinciding with the last day of the weeklong Sukkot festival celebrated by Israelis. Thousands of rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, prompting red alert warning sirens in various towns and cities, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Hamas claimed that more than 5,000 rockets were fired into Israel during the operation’s first 20 minutes, demonstrating a high level of coordination and preparation. The armed wing of Hamas announced that this operation aimed to halt the crimes of the Israeli occupation, which had recently escalated, particularly in and around Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Response to Ongoing Oppression:
The launch of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood comes as a direct response to the long-standing Israeli oppression faced by the Palestinian people. The text of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 37/43 reaffirms the right of people struggling for independence and liberation from colonial rule to use “all available means, including armed struggle.” This operation is seen as part of the armed Palestinian struggle provoked by Israeli occupation and colonialism.
The operation was initiated from Gaza, a territory regarded as the most densely populated open-air prison that has endured a 16-year-long blockade, rendering its economy nearly stagnant and pushing its population to the brink of despair. Despite the hardships, Gaza remains a symbol of resilience and the core of the Palestinian struggle.
Gaza’s residents have been subjected to severe restrictions on their freedom of movement, with only a few being granted access to the outside world through Israeli-controlled checkpoints. The blockade has resulted in high unemployment rates, food insecurity, and energy crises, impacting the daily lives of Palestinians in Gaza.
Despite these adversities, the Palestinian spirit of resistance remains unbroken. Routine Israeli military campaigns and systematic targeting of civilians have added to the psychological burden borne by Gazans, particularly the youth, a great majority of whom suffer from PTSD.
While the formal justification for the operation was recent events, including Israeli provocations around the Al-Aqsa Mosque and settler violence, its planning and execution suggest that it was inevitable given the ongoing oppression. Operation Al-Aqsa Flood solidifies Gaza’s central role in the Palestinian struggle for freedom.