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Hamas: Operation al-Aqsa Storm ‘necessary step’, normal response to Israeli conspiracies against Palestinians

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has strongly defended as a necessary step its October 7, 2023 operation against the Israeli regime, which was followed by the regime’s brutal onslaught against the Gaza Strip.

The movement made the comments in an official statement released in English and Arabic on Sunday.

It said the operation, dubbed al-Aqsa Storm, was a normal response to all Israeli conspiracies against the Palestinian people.

“Operation al-Aqsa Storm … was a necessary step and a normal response to confront all Israeli conspiracies against the Palestinian people and their cause. It was a defensive act in the frame of getting rid of the Israeli occupation, [and] reclaiming the Palestinian rights…,” Hamas said.

The movement added that Israel “has systematically destroyed every possibility to establish the Palestinian state through a wide campaign of settlement construction and Judaization of the Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank” and the city of al-Quds.

The Israeli regime has built hundreds of settlements across those territories, and is constantly ratifying plans to expand such structures, which are illegal under international law due to their construction on an occupied territory. Backed by the regime’s forces, illegal Israeli settlers also regularly invade the al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, Islam’s third-holiest site, where it is forbidden to perform non-Muslim prayers or rituals based on longstanding international agreements.

The movement also referred to the history of Western and Western-backed acts of aggression against Palestinians, saying, “The battle of the Palestinian people against occupation and colonialism did not start on October 7, but started 105 years ago, including 30 years of British colonialism and 75 years of Zionist occupation.”

Protecting civilian lives

Hamas added that Operation al-Aqsa Storm exclusively targeted Israeli military bases and every effort was made to capture only Israeli troops in order to free Palestinian prisoners held by the regime.

“Avoiding harm to civilians, especially children, women and elderly people is a religious and moral commitment by all the al-Qassam Brigades fighters. We reiterate that the Palestinian resistance was fully disciplined and committed to the Islamic values during the operation and that the Palestinian fighters only targeted the occupation soldiers and those who carried weapons against our people,” Hamas said,

Emphasizing that “if there was any case of targeting civilians, it happened accidently and in the course of the confrontation with the occupation forces,” the movement noted, “Many Israelis were killed by the Israeli army and police due to their confusion” as Operation al-Aqsa Storm led to “rapid collapse of the Israeli security and military system.”

Blasting Israeli war

Elsewhere in the statement, the movement called for “the immediate halt to the Israeli aggression on Gaza, [as well as] the crimes and ethnic cleansing committed against the entire Gaza population” to allow the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

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