Featured image: Palestinians celebrate the destruction of an Israeli tank at the Gaza border. Source: Al Jazeera

On the morning of the 7th of October Hamas fired thousands of rockets from the Gaza Strip to Israel. At the same time, a thousand militants crossed the border from Gaza to Israel, penetrating one the most heavily fortified borders in the world at several points. The counteroffensive completely surprised the Israeli government and military.

Here is some reported numbers as of the 8th of October. 600 Israelis and 370 Palestinians have died, with thousands of wounded on both sides. According to a source close to Hamas, there has been clashes with the military in at least 50 locations. At least 21 Israeli military positions have been hit. Israeli media has reported that at least 100 Israelis have been captured. The numbers are growing each moment.

The Gaza strip is a concentration camp, isolated from the world by Israel in air, land and sea, in a manner which violates the article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the use of collective punishment. Despite this, the Palestinian national resistance fighters were able to carry out a well-coordinated attack into Israel, breaking through the unlawful siege. For example, videos showed militants parachuting over the fence. There were reports of multiple holes in the border fence, and later pictures showed the fence being taken down by bulldozers. Some national resistance fighters also used motorboats to break through the siege.

In the settlement of Sderot, Palestinian national resistance fighters took over a police station and in Jerusalem, a police station was set on fire. Militants attacked multiple military bases, arresting soldiers, and Israel was forced to evacuate its air bases near Gaza. Israel is evacuating its settlements around the border to Gaza. The rocket fire is pounding Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, where schools, shops and restaurants have been closed. Al-Qassam Brigades say they launched 100 missiles on the settlement of Sderot, causing massive destruction on Sunday. Hezbollah has joined the counteroffensive and fired rockets from Lebanon against Israeli military targets in Shebaa Farms, which is Lebanese territory occupied illegally by Israel.

Palestinian masses ride a military vehicle taken from a stormed military base. Source: Yeni Demokrasi

Israeli government has openly admitted that it did not expect the counteroffensive, and has launched an inquiry on the failure of their military intelligence. The Israeli military is one of the most technically advanced in the world, armed to the teeth by mainly US imperialism. Despite this, the Palestinian resistance is able to hit Israel hard. The Iron Dome short-range air defense system is claimed to have a 96% success rate against missiles, but already in May of this year it was reported that it only intercepted 60% of the missiles launched from Gaza. Hamas has been studying the system and its weaknesses and over the course of the years, the missile attacks of the Palestinian national resistance have become more and more successful. Now it was able to overpower the system by launching multiple rockets in rapid succession.

The oppressors always have tried and do try to “justify” their rule and blur the fact that it is right to rebel. Trying to turn facts upside down, the imperialists have rushed to defend Israel and its “right to defend itself” from a claimed “murderous attack”. However, the “attack” is an offensive action in the long defensive struggle of the Palestinians against the genocidal policies and the – again – unlawful regarding to international agreements occupation. Hamas has stated that the counteroffensive was launched to draw a line against the violations of Israel. Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed by the occupation just this year, among them many children. Israel has increasingly used illegal settlers as “civilian” part of their military, with increasing numbers of clashes taking place especially in the occupied West Bank. The support for armed struggle has grown among the Palestinians. We have reported earlier on the struggle. The counteroffensive launched by Hamas is described by the press as ”the worst escalation” in years, even “the most surprising development in 50 years”, testifying of the higher quality of the counteroffensive and how severely it has shocked Israel and its masters.

While the international bourgeois press is spewing propaganda about a “murderous attack of terrorists” and crying about Israeli “civilians”, Israel is targeting Palestinian civilians, and hospitals providing care to the wounded, among whom there is children. It has also cut electricity from the Gaza Strip. In publicity, Israel said the residents of Gaza Strip should evacuate, but Al Jazeera reports that they are not allowed to leave, and Israel is killing whole families by bombing residential buildings. Similar actions are nothing new to the Palestinian people, but this time they are hitting the enemy hard, making Israel and its master the US imperialism tremble in fear, outwitting the highly militarized State of Israel and its hi-tech and large-in-numbers military by the initiative and creativeness of the people.