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‘Al-Aqsa Storm’ has changed equations, shattered Israel’s invincibility myth  

By Hiba Morad

The Operation ‘Al-Aqsa Storm’ launched by the Palestinian resistance group Hamas in the early hours of Saturday has sent shockwaves across the occupied territories, forcing settlers to run for their lives.

According to Palestinian observers, the surprise military operation has changed the regional equation in favor of the resistance axis and shattered the myth of the illegitimate regime’s invincibility.

The Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement launched aerial, sea, and ground attacks on the occupied Palestinian territories, including at least 5,000 rockets in the initial phase of the operation.

The unprecedented Palestinian operation came in retaliation to the Israeli desecration of al-Aqsa Mosque as well as a series of assaults against women in the compound of the mosque.

Late on Saturday, less than 24 hours after the operation was launched, Israeli media confirmed that several Israeli soldiers and settlers were held by the resistance fighters in the besieged Gaza Strip, including senior Israeli army generals.

The death toll of Israelis has already crossed 300, according to the Israeli media. There have been more than 200 casualties on the Palestinian side as well from the regime’s indiscriminate bombardment.

Palestinian fighters and youth liberated several Israeli illegal settlements and seized jeeps, tanks, and jet fighters while Israeli settlers were seen running away or hiding in shelters or even trash containers.

A slap in Israeli regime’s face

Dr. Mohammad Halasa, an expert on Israeli affairs, in a conversation with the Press TV website, said the Al-Aqsa Storm operation took the Israelis by surprise and delivered “a real slap in their face”.

“Up until this moment, analysts believe that the Israelis are still under immense shock, and cannot contain the situation,” Halasa, who has been closely monitoring the developments, stated.

This time, the Palestinians determined when and how the battle would unfold and take shape, while the Israelis entered an unprecedented state of chaos and panic, the university professor noted.

“If the Israeli regime survives this battle, it will suffer a lot to recover from it and its psychological impact. These operations will for sure have repercussions on the Israeli internal situation and on the Israeli settler community as well,” he hastened to add.

The internal Israeli arena is not the only variable to be affected by the battle, according to the expert.

“The unraveling events today and in the days to come in light of the support expressed by Palestinian regional allies will most probably change the equation of balance of power in the region,” Halasa said.

Touching on the status quo of the Israeli regime, he said the regime “fears the expansion of confrontations and attacks on other areas of the occupied land and is living a real nightmare.”

He also pointed to Israeli fears of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement on its northern borders, especially after the Lebanese resistance hailed the Al-Aqsa Storm operation.

“If Israel decides to escalate, we might witness an intervention from the Lebanese resistance or other resistance factions that support the Palestinian resistance; a scenario that Israel has been discussing for years now,” the expert on Israeli affairs remarked in a conversation with the Press TV website.

Hezbollah on Saturday described Al-Aqsa Storm as a decisive response to the occupation’s persistent crimes and violations and said it is closely monitoring the developments taking place.

On Sunday morning, it claimed responsibility for attacks on three Israeli military sites.

“On the path to liberate what remains occupied of our Lebanese land, and in solidarity with the victorious Palestinian resistance, the struggling and patient Palestinian people,” read the statement.

“The Martyr Commander Hajj Imad Mughniyeh groups in the Islamic Resistance attacked on this Sunday morning, October 8, 2023, three Zionist occupation sites in the occupied Shebaa Farms region in Lebanon, namely: The "Radar" site, "Zabdin" site, and "Ruwaysat Al-Alam" site, using a large number of artillery shells and guided missiles. Direct hits were confirmed on these sites.”

A disastrous Israeli failure

Palestinian political commentator and former detainee Ziad Hamouri told the Press TV website that the Al-Aqsa Storm “stands as a bureaucratic and security failure for the Israeli regime” and “proves that all the regime’s institutions suffer a resounding failure including the Shin Bet and Mossad.”

According to Israeli media, the regime is used to initiating battles and believes it cannot be attacked. However, this illusion shattered in no time on Saturday and proved its disastrous failure and defeat.

Hamouri explained that the scenario of being attacked has for long been elaborately discussed in Israeli media and intelligentsia, and over the years all the emergency and police agencies of the Israeli regime have been trained for it but “they were all taken by surprise”.

“For the first time in Occupied Palestine’s history, not only do we see the Palestinian young men roaming in the streets of the liberated illegal settlements, but also we witness the harsh criticism of Israeli media and commentators against the Israeli regime and all its institutions,” he stated.

On Saturday, Eli Marom, the former head of the Israeli Navy, appearing on live television said “All of Israel is asking itself: Where is the IDF, where is the police, where is the security?” adding “It’s a colossal failure; the hierarchies have simply failed, with vast consequences.”

Hamouri told the Press TV website that the repercussions of today’s Al-Quds Storm battle exceed those of the 1973 October war, adding that it is “not even comparable.”

“The Al-Aqsa Storm battle is a huge multi-dimensioned victory which will impact not only Palestine but the entire region, especially in light of statements made by some countries and resistance movements across West Asia. It will bring about a new equation and a new order in the region,” he asserted.

Al-Aqsa Storm: the tip of an iceberg

For years, the Israeli regime committed crimes against the Palestinian people, demolished and confiscated their properties and desecrated their sanctities, while its allies turned a blind eye to it.

Today’s battle is a natural response in the face of the Israeli regime’s violations and savagery which was eventually going to take place, according to Palestinian political analyst Annan Najib.

Speaking to the Press TV website from inside the occupied Palestinian territories, the analyst said that today’s events are only “the tip of an iceberg”.

“The Palestinian people live under illegal occupation, struggle to stay alive, live daily violence, witness the demolition and confiscation of their homes, death of their relatives due to siege and lack of medicine, and painfully see the hunger spread among their innocent children and the desecration of their sanctities,” Najib told the Press TV website.

The battle was well-prepared by the resistance fighters, he said, and maintained that the time has come for the Israeli regime “to pay for its inhumanity and tremendous atrocities.”

Annan also pointed out the significant difference between the Palestinian community and the Israeli illegal settler community, saying it is the key to the events unfolding.

“The Israeli community is made up of illegal settlers, the majority of whom obtain dual citizenship, unlike the Palestinian people who are the indigenous people of this land,” he noted.

“The Palestinians are willing to sacrifice themselves to defend their land while several illegal settlers quickly left the Gaza settlements to farther areas speculating that these are safe havens. This alone, explains the future of the Israeli regime and that it will soon one day stop to exit.” 

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