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Palestinian resistance groups raise alert level as Israeli military kicks off 'Chariots of Fire' war games

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Fighters from the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement ride on a truck as they display a rocket in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 28, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

Various Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip have agreed to raise their alert level after the Israeli military began a month-long war exercise, which includes forces from all branches of the military and thousands of combat reservists.

The alert comes as tensions on the ground in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories are heading towards a large-scale eruption.

The Joint Operations Room of Palestinian Groups announced in a statement on Monday evening that it had ordered an increase in the alert level in the face of the drill, dubbed “Chariots of Fire.”

The resistance groups underscored that they are constantly monitoring and following up on the behavior of the enemy, and would not hesitate to respond to any folly against the Palestinian people.

“We assure our people that the resistance groups will remain the protective shield for them and their just cause,” the statement read.

According to the Israeli military, the four-week drill will simulate a multi-frontal and multidimensional war against Israel’s enemies in the air, at sea, on land and the cyber front.

The goal of the drill is purportedly to improve the readiness of the entire Israeli military and examine the ability of troops to carry out a prolonged campaign against enemy forces, it said. It will also reveal logistics and firepower issues that troops might face in a war, the military added.

Last December, a retired Israeli general warned that the Israeli military was not ready for any future war, predicting that the regime would be hit with 3,000 missiles a day in case an all-out war breaks out.

In the most terrifying scenario, anti-Israeli groups in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq, as well as Hamas in the Gaza Strip, would launch missiles and drones at Israel, so that the average number of missiles fired at the regime would reach 3,000 a day, MivzakLive News quoted Yitzhak Brik as saying at the time.

Brik has on several occasions cautioned that the Israeli regime’s military is not prepared for a multi-frontal war.

He said his earlier remarks about the profound weakness of the Israeli army and the fact that the regime is in decline were not an outburst of anger, but fairly true as there are incontrovertible facts that cannot be overlooked.

“A new war will take us back to many years ago. The difficulties that we went through throughout previous wars will be nothing in comparison with the fallout of the future confrontation,” he opined.

Arab League condemns Bennett's remarks

Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Monday strongly condemned the latest remarks by Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett concerning the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and al-Quds.

Aboul Gheit, in a statement, rejected Israeli attempts to change the historical and legal status quo of al-Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque.

He said any Israeli claim of sovereignty over al-Quds and its holy Islamic and Christian sites represents a blatant violation of international law, and an infringement on United Nations resolutions.

Aboul Gheit underlined the Arab League’s solidarity with the Palestinians, and expressed firm support for the rights of the Palestinians, their steadfastness in the face of the Israeli occupation and their defense of East al-Quds as the capital of a Palestinian state.

Bennett had asserted that Israel would make its own decisions concerning al-Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque without any foreign interference, claiming that Tel Aviv  held sovereignty over the city without any foreign considerations.

Hamas political bureau member Ezzat al-Rashq dismissed Bennett’s statements, terming them a blatant violation of Palestinians’ rights and international principles.

Rashq said such comments must be condemned and criminalized.

The Israeli regime has no right or sovereignty over al-Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque, he said, adding that such remarks are a desperate attempt to impose a status quo that exists only in the Zionists' dreams.

“Only Palestinians have sovereignty over their land. The people have defended every iota of their soil and will continue to do so by means of all-out resistance until the entire occupied Palestinian territories are liberated and an independent Palestinian state is formed with al-Quds as its capital,” the senior Hamas official added.

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