Hamas prepares to respond: The Hamas movement called on its military wing Saturday to fire long-range rockets at Israeli communities in response to the IDF’s assault
Hamas spokesman Fauzi Barhoum characterized the aerial strikes as a crime against all the Palestinian people. “We are calling on the al-Qassam Brigades to fire as far as possible,” he said.
Barhoum said that Palestinian groups will not surrender despite the Israeli strike, which according to Palestinian reports claimed the lives of more than 100 people. The dead include senior members of the Palestinian police and of Hamas’ military wing. Some students were also reportedly hurt in the attacks.
The various Palestinian factions in the Strip characterized the Israeli assault as an “open war” and made it clear that they are preparing for what’s to come. Popular Resistance Committees Spokesman Abu Mujihad told Ynet that Palestinian groups have prepared a series of “surprises” for Israel.
The spokesman said that Gaza organizations will not be deterred by the aerial assault and will proceed to fire rockets at Israeli communities that were previously out of the line of fire. According to estimates, Palestinian groups are preparing to launch rockets from deep within the Strip, and not only from areas near the border with Israel.
Palestinian sources in Gaza told Ynet about panic among civilians in the Strip in the wake of the aerial assault. A Khan Younis resident said that locals are stockpiling food supplies for fear that the IDF’s next target would be the smuggling tunnels in the southern part of the Strip. “People here are scared. Anyone who can go down to the market and buy what needs to be bought is doing it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hamas media outlets are calling on the masses in the territories and in the Arab world to hit the streets and protest the major strikes. The group’s television station called on the masses in Arab states to oust Israeli embassies and fight anyone who is contributing to the blockade of the Strip or cooperating with the “Israeli enemy.”