In the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict, tensions have flared once again as Hamas, the armed wing of the Palestinian movement, initiated a surprise attack under the banner of “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.” This assault involved the launch of over 5,000 rockets within a span of just 20 minutes, resulting in tragic consequences on both sides of the conflict.
As the conflict unfolds, it has been reported that at least 198 people have lost their lives in Gaza, while 70 have been killed in Israel. The sudden onslaught caught the world’s attention, leading Israel to declare war against Hamas in retaliation, with a pledge to exact a substantial price for the attack. Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, emphatically stated, “Citizens of Israel, we are at war. This is not an operation, not an escalation – this is war. And we will win. Hamas will pay an unprecedented price.”
The attack was marked by the launch of thousands of rockets into Israeli airspace, triggering sirens and panic across the nation on what should have been a festive holiday morning. Israeli defense forces also reported incidents of infiltration by Hamas militants, who were swiftly deemed as terrorists. The attackers utilized paragliders and targeted passing vehicles on roads, as shocking visuals from Israel portrayed.
Israel’s Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, characterized Hamas’s actions as a “grave mistake” and emphasized that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were actively engaged in defending the nation against this unexpected aggression. The Indian embassy in Israel has issued safety advisories to its citizens, urging vigilance and adherence to local safety protocols during this crisis.
In response to the escalating conflict, the IDF has declared a state of readiness for war, citing ongoing rocket attacks from Gaza and infiltration attempts into Israeli territory. Hamas’s leader, Mohamed Deif, delivered a stern message in a recorded statement, asserting, “We have decided to put an end to all of this, with the help of God, so that the enemy understands that the time of recklessness without accountability is over.”
The conflict has triggered sirens and reports of multiple points of impact across southern and central Israel, prompting the government to advise civilians to seek shelter. Haunting images of Gazan border residents fleeing their homes have emerged, depicting the stark reality of the situation.
This latest bout of violence is part of a long-standing conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants, which has seen several wars since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007. The current escalation follows increased tensions, including Israel’s closure of its borders to Gazan workers. Regrettably, the toll from the conflict in this year alone stands at 247 Palestinians, 32 Israelis, and two foreigners, encompassing both combatants and civilians.
The recent violence comes on the heels of Hamas’s call to “draw a line to end the occupation” and their condemnation of Israel’s actions across Palestinian territories, particularly on the sacred site of Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem. As the situation evolves, the international community watches with growing concern, hoping for a swift resolution to this deeply rooted and devastating conflict.