Israel declared a state of war on Saturday morning and began bombing Gaza in a forceful military operation called “iron swords.” The troops act in retaliation, after Hamas launched nearly 5,000 rockets overnight and infiltrated several militias in some parts of Netanyahu’s country.
“The Israeli Army declares a state of war alert,” a military spokesman said in a statement to the media. Since then, alarms have been activated in the country’s main cities, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and bombs have not stopped falling on Gaza, a Palestinian enclave blockaded since 2007.
While the rockets unleash chaos and devastation, the Al Qasam brigades, linked to Hamas, have managed to infiltrate the city of Sderot where they have confronted Israeli soldiers. The militants have managed to enter the interior of the Israeli prison in Ashkelon and have freed dozens of Palestinian political prisoners.
Palestinian bombs have left at least 22 dead in Israel, whose immediate response has left at least 4 Palestinians dead, according to first reports. The number of soldiers who may have lost their lives on both sides is still unknown.
A year of attacks against Palestine
The attack launched this morning by Hamas comes after a year of intermittent bombings by the Netanyahu government, and after a period in which Palestine’s defenselessness and international isolation have increased. In fact, Hamas has described its offensive on Israeli soil as the beginning of a “revolution” that was born in response to the dozens of attacks and rights violations suffered in recent months.
The last scene of tension occurred less than a month ago, when a protest on the border separating Gaza from Israel ended with the death of five Palestinians and the injury of more than 20 protesters.
Days earlier, Israeli troops had carried out an illegal raid on Palestinian soil and killed a man, sparking another day of protests. Added to this is Netanyahu’s sending of troops to the Jenin refugee camp, an act that ended up condemned by the UN, since dozens of Palestinian soldiers were murdered in an episode of violence that had not been seen since the beginning of the 2000s. 2000s.
Saleh al Arouri, a senior Hamas official, in his intervention after the attack, did not forget all these episodes and his memory pointed even further, to the April 2022 protests at the Al Aqsa Mosque in which more than 150 Palestinians ended up injured. So much so that, in the last few hours, Arouri has called to defend the esplanade of the mosques and to “release the prisoners” who were detained by the State of Israel.
“We are in war”
Hours after the attack, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahuhas made it clear that the bombings against Gaza are not a retaliation or an isolated military operation, but rather an act of war that could last weeks or months.
“Citizens of Israel, we are at war. It is not a military operation, it is not rounds of combat, it is a war,” he declared in a video broadcast on social networks. “The enemy will pay a price the likes of which he has never known before,” he concluded.
Netanyahu’s judicial reform and its impact on the troops
In the last year, Netanyahu has elevated his authoritarian character and has promoted judicial reform that dilutes the separation of powers. This reform, which apparently has nothing to do with the conflict in Gaza, has unleashed a wave of social protests. Among them, that of the Israeli Army reservists.
Groups of reservists have expressed their discontent in recent weeks and have even threatened to refuse military service in case of emergency, which would weaken the strength of the troops. Since this group of soldiers began their protest, this is the first time that Israel could call them up and their response could be important in strengthening Netanyahu’s image or weakening it even further.