‘Flood’ Like No Other: Israeli Media in Shock as Palestinians Change Roles of the Game – ANALYSIS

Palestinians walk near the Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing in Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Editors

In the early hours of Saturday morning, Israelis woke up to a ‘flood’, the likes of which they have never experienced. 

Thousands of Palestinian resistance rockets rained down on settlements in the Gaza region, while the armed wing of Hamas, Al-Qassam Brigades, infiltrated deep inside Israel  – by land, sea and air. 

Statements issued by the Israeli occupation authorities and the headlines in the Israeli press this morning reflected a state of confusion, confirming that the Palestinian ‘flood’ has taken everyone by surprise.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said Israel was under attack and was being hit by a Hamas “terrorist” infiltration, before vowing that “we will do everything to protect ourselves.”

‘Grave Mistake’ 

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant said Hamas made a grave mistake this morning by starting a war against Israel.

The Israeli army has repeatedly announced measures to deal with the situation, declaring “preparedness for a state of war after Palestinians infiltrated the heart of Israel.” 

It also announced the closure of many roads and sites, the shift to alternative roads in the areas near the border fence with the Gaza Strip, and the activation of the Iron Dome. 

Meanwhile, sirens sounded throughout much of Israel.

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However, these measures and the many threats issued by Israeli officials did not succeed in reassuring the settlers. 

Videos issued by Israelis showed thousands of settlers running in various directions, escaping the kind of horror that is often experienced by Palestinians.

At the time of writing this report, nearly 550 Israelis have been injured, 22 killed, scores captured and hundreds reported missing. These are the estimates of Israel itself, though Palestinians say the numbers are higher. 

‘Al-Aqsa Flood’

Hamas named its operation the ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’. A flood has indeed swept through Israel. 

Hamas said that it has fired 5,000 rockets towards Israel in the first 30 minutes of the attack; Israel admits to only 2,200. 

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted Israel’s police chief as saying this morning that violent clashes were taking place in 21 different locations inside Israel. 

Israel’s Walla website confirmed the news, saying that the Israeli army was engaged in clashes with Palestinian fighters in a large number of locations on the Gaza-Israel border region. 

The Israel Radio confirmed that Hamas had captured 35 Israelis so far.

State of Shock

Israeli newspapers’ coverage of the unprecedented event also reflected a sense of shock in Israel, one that can be compared to the initial shock of the October 1973 war.

Some analysts suggest that this time it is much worse. The ‘73 war was against traditional armies and involved several Arab countries. This war is against a single Palestinian group, Hamas. 

Maariv said the attacks were unlike anything Israel had known in the fight against Hamas before. In fact, against anyone. 

The reputation of the “invincible army” has been destroyed, perhaps forever. 

Despite the Israeli army’s insistence that it is taking charge of the situation, Israeli media confirmed that dozens of Hamas fighters were still roaming the streets of Israeli settlements.

Israeli media reported that dozens of Israeli prisoners were taken to Gaza by Hamas fighters, while the Yedioth Ahronoth website, Ynet News, reported that Palestinian fighters had towed at least three military vehicles into Gaza.

The commander of the Qassam Brigades, Mohammed Deif, said in an audio message earlier today that the first strike of the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation exceeded 5,000 rockets targeting Israeli cities. 

(PC, AJA, Israeli Media) 

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