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Palestinian resistance launches Operation al-Quds Sword as Israeli airstrikes kill 25 in Gaza

Israeli forces deploy al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds on May 10, 2021 during clashes with Palestinian protesters. (Photo by AFP)

Palestinian resistance factions say they have launched ‘Operation al-Quds Sword’ in retaliation for the Israeli regime’s acts of aggression against Palestinians in Jerusalem al-Quds, saying their goal is to liberate the holy city from Israeli occupation.

The factions operating under the Joint Operations Room announced in a statement that resistance fighters have fired hundreds of rockets towards the occupied territories as part of the operation.

The rocket fire was in retaliation for the Tel Aviv regime’s raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, they said.

“Operational-Quds Sword is meant to achieve the liberation of the holy city, and is in response to the Occupation’s crimes against its residents as well as cries by its freedom-loving locals,” the statement stressed.

Israeli sources confirmed that as many as 250 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards the occupied territories, adding the Israeli military conducted waves of bombardments against 130 targets in the besieged enclave, that they claimed killed 15 Hamas members.

The Joint Operations Room said Palestinian resistance factions launched precise strikes against Israeli-occupied lands, struck an Israeli car near the Gaza border and later carried out intense missile strikes against targets in the coastal city of Tel Aviv in addition to other places.

“We tell the enemy that we have already warned it against insistence on aggression against our sanctities and people without any restraint. It is now time for it to pay the costs. We have built up strength to protect our people wherever needed. We will not abandon them, no matter what the consequences might be. Our weapons are for all of our people, wherever they are,” it further stated.

“Let the cowardly enemy know that the era of singling out al-Quds (Jerusalem) and al-Aqsa Mosque is long gone,” the Joint Operations Room underlined.

Hamas will continue operations unless Israel ends al-Quds, al-Aqsa raids

Furthermore, a senior leader of the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement said his fellow fighters will continue to stage retaliatory rocket attacks against the Israeli-occupied territories as long as the regime and its military forces press ahead with their brutal hostilities in the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds and the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The head of Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, said early Tuesday that Jerusalem al-Quds has politically and publicly established a new balance of power both at domestic and international levels, expressing hope that the Palestinian nation’s willpower and steadfastness will ultimately emerge victorious.

Haniyeh stressed that the equation relating the Gaza Strip to Jerusalem al-Quds is fundamental and never-changing, saying, “When al-Quds (Jerusalem) called for help, Gaza answered the call,” the Arabic-language Palestine al-Aan news agency quoted him as saying.

“We have decided to continue [our operations] unless the Occupation (Israel) stops all its acts of aggression and terror in al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque.”

If Israel continues attacks, Hamas will turn Ashkelon into hell

Additionally, Palestinian resistance groups in the Gaza Strip fired a massive barrage of rockets at the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon at dawn on Tuesday, threatening to turn the city “into hell.”

Israeli media said 31 Israelis wounded in the raids had arrived at a hospital in Ashkelon, including two in serious and moderate conditions.

It came shortly after Israeli warplanes conducted new airstrikes in the blockaded coastal enclave.

The military aircraft struck areas in the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.

They also hit positions of Palestinian resistance groups in the western part of the enclave.

A position of a Palestinian resistance group in northern Gaza was bombarded as well.

The spokesman of Hamas' military wing, Abu Ubaidah, has claimed responsibility for the heavy rocket barrage on Ashkelon.

“We fired rockets at Ashkelon following an Israeli strike that hit a house west of Gaza City. If Israel continues to attack, we will turn Ashkelon into hell."

25 Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza

Moreover, Gaza’s Health Ministry updated its death toll on Tuesday morning to 25, including 9 children, following a night of Israeli strikes.

The ministry also added that 103 people were injured in the coastal sliver.

Abbas: Israel fully responsible for crimes in Gaza Strip, al-Quds

And, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has held the Israeli regime fully responsible for the escalation and crimes committed in the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem al-Quds.

He condemned Israeli bombardsments of Gaza and called on the international community to act quickly to put an end to ongoing Israeli crimes against Palestinians, and to force the Tel Aviv regime to cease its aggression that aims to Judaize the holy city, and forcibly displace Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

He also ordered the cancelation of celebrations for Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Turkey to mobilize intl. community against Israeli ‘terror’: Erdogan

Ankara will mobilize the entire world, especially the Muslim world, in order to stop “Israel’s terror and occupation,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also stated in separate phone calls with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh on Monday.

Erdogan reiterated his country’s support for the Palestinian cause and pledged to stand with Palestinians.

He stated that Israel’s acts were “terror” and strongly condemned the attacks on the Palestinian people.

Separately, thousands of people gathered outside the Israeli embassy in Ankara and its consulate in Istanbul to protest at Israeli actions against Palestinians in the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.

Protesters hold Palestinian and Turkish national flags and chant slogans during a demonstration outside the Israeli consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, late on May 10, 2021, to protest against Israel's deadly airstrikes launched on the Gaza Strip. (Photo by AFP)

The protesters in Istanbul, despite a full lockdown aimed at curbing coronavirus cases, waved Palestinian flags and chanted “Down with Israel, down with America.”

Blinken says rocket attacks on Israel must stop 'immediately'

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday said the rocket attacks from Gaza against Israel should stop “immediately.”

“We’re very focused on the situation in Israel, West Bank, Gaza, very deeply concerned about the rocket attacks that we’re seeing now, that they need to stop, they need to stop immediately,” Blinken said ahead of meeting with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.

Blinken also expressed concerns about the violence and ‘provocative actions’ in and around the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price also said that rocket attacks by Palestinian resistance fighters in the Gaza Strip into Israel were an “unacceptable escalation.”

Tensions have escalated in Jerusalem al-Quds, the occupied West Bank and Gaza throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, amid the planned forced expulsions of dozens of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where illegal Israeli settlers are looking to take over the properties of Palestinian families.

The Palestinian Red Crescent announced on Tuesday that more than 700 people have been wounded in attacks by Israeli forces in East Jerusalem al-Quds and the West Bank.

The violent crackdown by Israeli forces against Palestinians in the city have already sparked global concern that the unrest could spread further.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later had to withdraw from Gaza, but has been occupying the other territories ever since.

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