Head of Hamas’ Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh declared on Saturday that the Palestinian resistance is engaged in an “epic battle” centered around the Al-Aqsa Mosque and holy sites, vowing that the “storm” will expand to the West Bank and beyond.
Haniyeh emphasized that the core reason behind the ongoing situation is “the criminal Israeli aggression directed at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which has reached its peak in recent days.”
He observed that “thousands of extremist settlers have violated the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by praying inside it, as a prelude to establishing Israeli sovereignty, a move we had foreseen in terms of imposing control over the mosque.
“If the international community remains silent, we will not stay silent in the face of this sacrilege and the intent to commit aggression,” he added.
“We are partaking in a battle of honor, resistance, and dignity to protect Al-Masra and Al-Aqsa, under the banner of the ‘Al-Aqsa Storm.’ This storm has initiated from Gaza and will expand to the West Bank and beyond, wherever our people and nation exist,” he continued.
Hamas initiated an unprecedented offensive against Israel, naming it the “Al-Aqsa Storm,” involving the launch of thousands of rockets toward occupied territories and unprecedented infiltration operations.
Palestinian freedom fighters took control of the illegal Israeli settlements in the 1948-occupied territories on Saturday morning, launching over 5,000 homemade rockets towards the colonial Israeli settlements.”
Hamas resistance forces have also managed to seize several armored vehicles from the Zionists and transported them into the Gaza Strip.
The “Star of David” (Israeli medical emergency organization) described the number of casualties inflicted on the Israeli regime in today’s Hamas operation as significant and stated that an exact count of these casualties cannot be reported.
Israeli sources also reported that at least 35 Israeli soldiers and settlers have been captured by Palestinian resistance fighters since the breakout of the Al-Aqsa Storm Operation.
The news analysis website “Walla” also reported continued clashes in the city of Sderot and mentioned that resistance forces in the town of Ofakim have taken several individuals captive.