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Israel announces readiness for war as Hamas launches Operation Al-Aqsa Flood

Millions of Israelis have been given instructions to stay near shelters due to Israel’s readiness for war as Hamas launches Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, Hindustan Times reports.

Israeli military forces strike targets in the Gaza Strip Saturday morning. At about the same time, air raid sirens sounded in the Israeli capital as the militant group Hamas launched a military operation against Israel. It was stated that “a number of terrorists have infiltrated into Israeli territory.”

Some videos published online confirm the information that the uniformed militants are in the Israeli border town of Sderot. The footage shows fighting in the streets and the sound of gunfire can be heard.

“We decided to put an end to all the crimes of the occupation (Israel), their time for rampaging without being held accountable is over,” the group said and “We announce Operation Al-Aqsa Flood and we fired, in the first strike of 20 minutes, more than 5,000 rockets.”

Mohammad Deif, a senior Hamas military commander, in a broadcast called on Palestinians everywhere to join the fight. He also mentioned it was the greatest battle to end “the last occupation on earth.”

Casualties from open conflict are increasing. For instance, The Magen David Adom emergency medical services confirm that a woman in her 60s has been killed and 15 others injured in southern Israel.

Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi is assessing the situation and approving a plan of action. “Hamas… which is behind this attack, will bear the results and responsibility for the events,” the website quoted the IDF as saying.

The conflict continues, casualties at least 247 Palestinians, 32 Israelis and two foreigners, as well as civilians on both sides.

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