“We won’t rest assured until al-Quds and the al-Aqsa Mosque’s liberation,” Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Palestinian resistance movement’s Political Bureau, said in late Saturday, Al Jazeera reported.
“The current Palestinian generation can do this,” he added.
The regime occupied the Palestinian territory of the West Bank, where al-Quds is located, in 1967.
The Israeli military and illegal settlers intensified the regime’s violations against Palestinians across al-Quds, including on the al-Aqsa Mosque’s compound -- Islam's third-holiest site that is situated in al-Quds’ Old City -- after the beginning of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
The military attacked thousands of worshippers on the compound, and also tried to evict Palestinians from al-Quds’ Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Gaza, where Hamas is headquartered, rose in protest afterwards. Since Monday, the Israeli military has taken the coastal sliver under unremitting, hugely deadly, and indiscriminate assaults.
Scores of Palestinians have died during the violations targeting the West Bank, while the attacks on Gaza has led to the martyrdom of 139 others, including 39 children and 22 women.
On Saturday, Salameh Marouf, head of the Gaza-based Government Information Office, said, only during the previous night, the regime had carried out as many as “300 attacks” against Gaza.
The damage afflicted on the territory since Monday, the official added, could so far be estimated at $260 million.
Haniyeh, however, said, “Resistance is our strategic option,” adding that the Islamic resistance groups in Gaza would not stand idly by, while the regime carried out such violations against the al-Aqsa Mosque.
He reminded how he had previously called the holy site a “red line,” and cautioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against “playing with fire.”
Palestinian movements have retaliated by firing thousands of rockets towards the occupied Palestinian lands. Many of the projectiles have flown into the depths of the territories and well beyond.
The official hailed how the groups’ reprisal had forced Tel Aviv to impose curfews across the occupied territories. He also noted that the movements had grown so much in power, although the regime has been blockading Gaza for more than 15 years.
“The resistance will never back down, and will continue to serve as a sword and a shield in defense of al-Quds and the al-Aqsa Mosque,” the Hamas’ leader noted.
Ashdod, Tel Aviv come under new rocket barrage
Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, meanwhile, said it had fired dozens of more rockets towards the port city of Ashdod and Tel Aviv in the occupied territories.
Rocket sirens were set off three times after Hamas’ counteroffensive that, according to Al Jazeera, saw the fighters firing 30 rockets towards the occupied lands.
A total of nine Israelis have died and 560 others wounded during the resistance’s retaliation against the Monday-present Israeli aggression.
The latest counterattack, the Brigades said, was a response to the regime’s earlier destruction of the Jala Tower in Gaza that used to house foreign journalists in the coastal territory.
Intl. condemnation rages on against Israel
Numerous world leaders and international bodies have released a torrent of condemnatory statements targeting the regime since it began its atrocities across the Palestinian territories.
Most recently, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the attack on the Jala Tower a clear violation of the international law.
He also expressed consternation at a recent Israeli raid that killed a 10-member family, including eight children, at a refugee camp in the enclave.
"The Secretary-General is dismayed by the increasing number of civilian casualties, including the death of 10 members of the same family, including children, as a result of an Israeli airstrike last night in the al-Shati camp in Gaza, purportedly aimed at a Hamas leader," his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said.
Fakhreddin Alton, the communications director at the Turkish president’s office, also lambasted the attack on the Gaza-based tower, saying the assault had sought to prevent media coverage of the Israeli regime’s barbarity. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also voiced Ankara’s solidarity with the Palestinians, who had been subjected to an ethnic, religious, and cultural cleansing campaign.
Also on Saturday, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and the Kuwaiti National Assembly’s Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim contacted Haniyeh to discuss the situation brought about by the Israeli atrocities.
The Qatari top diplomat urged the international organizations to intervene towards cessation of the situation, while the Kuwaiti senior legislator reiterated his country’s pro-Palestinian stance.
Pro-Palestinian rallies were separately reported in Belgium, Greece, and Serbia.
Palestine calls for Middle East Quartet gathering
Abdel Hafiz Nofal, the Palestinian ambassador to Moscow, called on the so-called Middle East Quartet -- the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations -- to meet to address the situation.
Speaking to Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency, he called Russia’s position on the matter constructive. Earlier, Moscow had called for one such meeting and asked Tel Aviv to stop trying to change the “status quo” in al-Quds.
A potential Quartet meeting, the envoy said, was important towards cessation of the violence. He, however, regretted that Washington had not yet reacted to Moscow’s proposal for such a gathering.