> Israel declares ‘state of war’ after 5,000 Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza - নিয়মীয়া খবৰ




Israel declares ‘state of war’ after 5,000 Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza

Barrages of rockets were fired from the blockaded Gaza Strip on Saturday, killing at least one person in Israel, an AFP journalist and medics said.

The Israeli army warned of sirens across the country’s south and central areas, urging the public to stay near bomb shelters.

The armed wing of Palestinian group Hamas said it was behind the fire, claiming its militants had launched more than 5,000 rockets.

“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.

“We announce Operation Al-Aqsa Flood and we fired, in the first strike of 20 minutes, more than 5,000 rockets.”

Israel’s Magen David Adom rescue agency said a 70-year-old woman was critically injured when a rocket hit a building in southern Israel. Elsewhere, a 20-year-old man was moderately injured by rocket shrapnel, it said.

In a rare public statement, Mohammed Deif, the elusive leader of Hamas’ military wing, the group that opposes Israel, said it has launched a new military operation against Israel.

Mohammed Deif said that 5,000 rockets had been fired into Israel early Saturday to begin “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm”. “We’ve decided to say enough is enough,” Deif said as he urged all Palestinians to confront Israel.

Deif, who has survived multiple Israeli assassination attempts, does not make public appearances. His message was delivered in a recording.

The rocket launches came after weeks of heightened tensions along Israel’s volatile border with Gaza, and heavy fighting in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Israel has maintained a blockade over Gaza since Hamas seized control of the territory in 2007. The bitter enemies have fought four wars since then.

There have also been numerous rounds of smaller fighting between Israel and Hamas and other smaller militant groups based in Gaza.

The blockade, which restricts the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza, has devastated the territory’s economy. Israel says the blockade is needed to keep militant groups from building up their arsenals. The Palestinians say the closure amounted to collective punishment.

The latest Palestinian rocket fire came during a period of heavy fighting in the West Bank, where nearly 200 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli military raids this year. Israel says the raids are aimed at militants, but stone-throwing protesters and people uninvolved in the violence have also been killed. Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets have killed over 30 people.

The tensions have also spread to Gaza, where Hamas-linked activists held violent demonstrations along the Israeli border in recent weeks. Those demonstrations were halted in late September after international mediation.

(with inputs from agencies)

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