Al-Aqsa Flood

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Al-Aqsa Flood or al-Aqsa Storm (Arabic: طوفانُ الْاَقْصیٰ) is the name of a surprising and complex military operation carried out by Hamas, (a Palestinian resistance group) in Gaza against Israeli Zionist Regime. It was launched in response to the Israeli occupation and decades of crimes including the desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, killings of civilians and children, assassinations, imprisonment, discrimination, humiliation, violations of Palestinian fundamental rights, blockades, and the continuation of Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Arab territories. The operation commenced on October 7, 2023, and resulted in a full-scale conflict between Hamas and Israel, with reports of thousands of civilian casualties in Gaza.[1].[2]

Backgrounds of the Attack

Location of Gaza, Palestine

Gaza as an Open-Air Prison

Throughout the years of occupation, the Palestinian people have experienced a significant and widespread violation of their fundamental rights. Many would argue that all of Gaza is effectively an open-air prison, with 2.2 million people blockaded by Israel in a tiny coastal enclave. Since 1967, when Israel occupied East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank, it has arrested an estimated one million Palestinians, as the United Nations reported last summer.[3]

One in every five Palestinians has been arrested and charged under the 1,600 military orders that control every aspect of the lives of Palestinians living under the Israeli military occupation. That incarceration rate doubles for Palestinian men — two in every five have been arrested. Today, the number of Palestinians currently behind Israeli bars is 5,200, including women who are prosecuted in military courts.[4]

Imprisonment of Children

Indeed, Palestinian children have consistently been among those who have been affected by imprisonment during the years of occupation. Since the outbreak of the second Intifada in 2000, more than 12,000 Palestinian children have been detained by Israeli forces. The most common charge is throwing stones, which is punishable by a maximum punishment of 20 years.[5] The children are often subjected to physical and psychological torture, according to child rights groups.

Description of UN Secretary-General

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, in his speech to the Security Council on October 24, confirmed that "the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum, he noted, with the Palestinian people being subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation, during which they saw their land devoured by settlements; their economy stifled; their homes demolished; and their hopes for a political solution vanishing.[6]

Motive for Operation

Muhammed Deif, commander in chief of the Hamas' military arm Al Qassam Brigades, released a video statement claiming responsibility for the attack, saying: "The Zionist colonial occupation occupied our Palestinian homeland and displaced our people, destroyed our towns and villages, committed hundreds of massacres against our people, killing children, women and elderly people and demolishing homes with their inhabitants inside in violation of all international norms, laws, and human rights conventions."[7] Hamas said the operation was in retaliation for the storming of al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians. The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip.[8]

Process of Operation

Bulldozer tears down section of Israel-Gaza border fence

The Israeli Regime authorities seem to have been caught off-guard by Hamas’s Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on Saturday. Besides launching rocket fire, the Palestinian faction also sent its fighters from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel, where they attacked military targets, briefly took control of some Israeli settlements, and took dozens of civilians and soldiers hostage.[9]

Israel’s military said at 10 am (07:00 GMT) that Palestinian fighters penetrated at least three military installations around the frontier – the Beit Hanoon border crossing (called Erez by Israel), the Zikim base, and the Gaza division headquarters at Reim.[10] As a result, Israel's doctrine of deterrence has been completely destroyed.

Casualties

Israel reports on Monday said some 700 people were killed. Israel’s Ministry of Health updated the number of Israelis wounded in the ongoing violence, saying 2,382 were treated in hospitals so far.[11] Meanwhile, the Israeli general death toll has so far stood at 1,300 while the number of confirmed injured Israelis exceeds 3,400.[12]

Consequences of al-Aqsa Flood

Pro-Palestine Celebration

Upon hearing the news of the al-Aqsa Flood, Muslims in Iran, Afghanistan, and Iraq rejoiced and celebrated the triumph of the Palestinian Resistance. The Islamic Republic of Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Ansar Allah (Houthi movement) in Yemen supported the Hamas operation. Additionally, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan referred to Hamas as a liberation group fighting to protect Palestinian lands.

Irreparable Defeat

Some Israeli Regime officials accused Iran of being involved in the surprise attack by Hamas. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, suggested on Tuesday that Iran was not behind the incursion in Israel while praising what he called Israel’s “irreparable” military and intelligence defeat. But he added: “Those who say that the recent saga is the work of non-Palestinians have miscalculated.”[13]

Decline of Financial Markets in Israel

The al-Aqsa Flood has caused a significant downturn in the stock market, a depreciation of the currency, and a decrease in the Zionist regime's credit rating. It has also been observed that one of the long-term consequences of the operation is a reduction in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the occupied Palestinian territories. Additionally, some global corporations, such as Swiss Nestlé[14]and Spanish Inditex,[15] have declared the closure of their branches in occupied Palestine. According to reports, Saudi Arabia paused normalization talks with Israel after the operation.[16]

Reverse Migration from Occupied Territories

The Al-Aqsa Flood has caused an increase in migration of Zionists from occupied territories. Since October 7, almost half a million Israelis have left the country. Furthermore, data reveals a significant decrease in the number of Jewish immigrants to Israel since the beginning of October.[17] In October 2023, only 1,163 people moved to Israel, compared to 2,364 in September. This number was also much lower than the same period in 2022, which saw 6,091 people move to Israel.[18] Additionally, many foreign workers have left Israel since October 7.[19]

Israel's Reaction to the Operation

The Human cost - From 2008 to 2023 in Occupied Palestine

Israel Regime has imposed a total blockade on the Gaza Strip after the Islamist militant group Hamas sent its fighters across the border early Saturday, where they killed more than 1,300 Israeli civilians and soldiers. The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Gaza within the Gaza Strip.[20]

Israel's response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening the living conditions in an area that has endured a crippling siege since 2007, as well as ordering over 1 million Gazans in the northern strip to evacuate to the south.[21]

After days of airstrikes, the Israeli military has ordered the Palestinians in Gaza City and its surroundings to move to the south of the territory. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Friday that the relocation of Gaza residents from the north to the south as ordered by the Israeli military is extremely dangerous. “Moving more than 1 million people across a densely populated warzone to a place with no food, water, or accommodation, when the entire territory is under siege, is extremely dangerous – and in some cases, simply not possible.”[22]

See Also

Notes

  1. Gaza Strip, Arabic Qiṭāʿ Ghazzah, territory occupying 140 square miles (363 square km) along the Mediterranean Sea just northeast of the Sinai Peninsula. The Gaza Strip is unusual in being a densely settled area. The first accurate census, conducted in September 1967, showed a population smaller than had previously been estimated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) or by Egypt, with nearly half of the people living in refugee camps. Pop: (2017) 1,899,291; (2023 est.) 2,226,544.
  2. Britannica, under the Gaza
  3. Special Rapporteur Says Israel’s Unlawful Carceral Practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Are Tantamount to International Crimes and Have Turned it into an Open-Air Prison
  4. Why are so many Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails?
  5. Why are so many Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails?
  6. Amid Increasingly Dire Humanitarian Situation in Gaza, Secretary-General Tells Security Council Hamas Attacks Cannot Justify Collective Punishment of Palestinian People
  7. Death came from sea, air and ground: A timeline of surprise attack by Hamas on Israel
  8. Palestinian death toll from Israeli attacks on Gaza reaches 2,329
  9. There is nothing surprising about Hamas’s operation
  10. What happened in Israel? A breakdown of how the Hamas attack unfolded
  11. What happened in Israel? A breakdown of how the Hamas attack unfolded
  12. Palestinian death toll from Israeli attacks on Gaza reaches 2,329
  13. Iran’s Supreme Leader Issues Tehran’s Latest Denial of Involvement in Israel Attacks
  14. Nestle says a production plant was temporarily shut down in Israel
  15. Inditex temporarily closes its 84 franchised stores in Israel
  16. Saudi Arabia pauses normalisation talks with Israel amid ongoing war with Hamas
  17. Report: Nearly 0.5m Israelis left Israel after 7 October
  18. Immigration to Israel dropped sharply following Oct. 7 assault -- statistics bureau
  19. Official: Over 17,000 foreign workers left Israel since 7 October – Middle East Monitor
  20. Gaza Strip: devastated by conflict and Israel's economic blockade
  21. Palestinian death toll from Israeli attacks on Gaza reaches 2,329
  22. Relocation of Gaza residents extremely dangerous: UN chief

References