Hamas today called for a “mobilization” of the Arab and Muslim world on Friday “in support of Gaza,” describing it as a day of “heroism and sacrifice.”
Thousands of Hamas targets have been wiped out by an Israeli aerial bombardment that has ruthlessly hit the Gaza Strip after the terrorists launched a surprise attack that has killed at least 900 Israelis so far.
But now terrorist leaders have called on those in the Arab and Muslim world to “mobilize” and express their support for Hamas and the Palestinian people on Friday.
They also called on “revolutionary youth” in the West Bank and those in Jerusalem to clash with “cowardly” Israeli soldiers.
It comes after thousands of Palestinian supporters descended on the Israeli embassy in London, waving flags, chanting and setting off flares. Hundreds of others clashed with Israeli supporters in a London tube station as police desperately tried to keep the peace.
Dozens of police were seen on video trying to separate protesters at High Street Kensington tube station in west London, while more than a thousand pro-Palestinian activists gathered on the street outside.
It comes after thousands of Palestinian supporters descended on the Israeli embassy in London, waving flags, chanting and setting off flares.
Palestinians see a fire burning amid the rubble of a damaged residential building in Gaza City on Tuesday, in the wake of Israeli attacks
A fireball erupts Monday after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City
“This is a call to our Palestinian people and the masses of the Arab and Islamic world and the people of the free world,” Hamas leaders said on Telegram. “We announce on Friday the general mobilization in support of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the struggling Gaza.”
They called on those in the free world to mobilize their support for Hamas and the Palestinians on Friday, describing it as a day “to show our love and support for Palestine and Jerusalem.”
While Israel has managed to wipe out thousands of Hamas targets with airstrikes, harrowing clips circulating on social media showed the rockets and bombs also destroying Palestinian residential blocks, killing hundreds of civilians.
Israel also ordered a “full siege” of Gaza, cutting off electricity, fuel and food to the 2.3 million Palestinians, most of whom were already living in abject poverty.
The four-day war has already claimed at least 1,600 lives as Israel saw gun battles on the streets of its own cities and Gaza neighborhoods reduced to rubble for the first time in decades.
In response to the savage aerial bombardment of Gaza, Hamas warned late last night that it would begin executing Israeli civilian prisoners.
“Any attack on our people without warning will be met with the execution of one of the civilian hostages,” Hamas’ armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, said in a statement.
Hamas militants kidnapped up to 150 people, including women and children, from Israeli territory and dragged them back to Gaza amid their brutal slaughter.
“We have decided to put an end to this and from now on we declare that any attack on our people in their homes without prior warning will unfortunately be accompanied by the execution of one of the civilian hostages we are holding,” Abu Obaida said. spokesperson for the Al-Qassam Brigades, later added in a recording released to Al Jazeera.
Israel and Hamas have had repeated conflicts in recent years, often sparked by tensions over a holy site in Jerusalem.
But this time the context has become more explosive.
Israeli soldiers patrol a road near the Gaza border fence on Tuesday
Israeli soldiers scan an area as sirens sound as rockets are launched from Gaza towards Israel on Monday
Palestinians inspect the massive destruction caused by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City on Tuesday
A Palestinian man walks through the rubble amid the destruction caused by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City’s al-Rimal neighborhood on Tuesday
The surprise weekend attack by Hamas left a death toll unseen since the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria, and called for Israel to crush Hamas at all costs, rather than continue trying to bottle it up in Gaza.
Israel is led by the most right-wing government ever, dominated by ministers who firmly reject Palestinian statehood.
Hamas, in turn, says it is ready for a long struggle to end the Israeli occupation which they say is no longer acceptable. Desperation has grown among Palestinians, many of whom see nothing to lose under endless Israeli control and increasing settler looting in the West Bank, the blockade in Gaza and what they see as the world’s apathy.
On Monday, thousands of Israelis were evacuated from more than a dozen towns near Gaza, and tanks and drones were deployed to guard gaps in Gaza’s border fence against new incursions.
In the Gaza Strip, tens of thousands fled their homes as airstrikes leveled buildings.
The moves, along with Israel’s formal declaration of war on Sunday, signaled Israel’s increasing offensive against Hamas, threatening greater destruction in the densely populated, impoverished region where 2.3 million people live on top of each other in dire conditions.
Israel said it had called up 300,000 army reservists for its ‘Swords of Iron’ campaign, while the IDF said it hit hundreds of Hamas targets overnight in Gaza’s City Rimal neighborhood, where Hamas ministries and government buildings are located .
IDF spokesman Richard Hecht said Gaza residents were told to evacuate “via social media” before the strikes, but gave no details.
Also on Monday, Israel found more bodies from Hamas’ stunning weekend attack on southern Israeli cities.
Rescuers found 100 bodies in the small farming community of Be’eri – about 10 percent of the population – after a long hostage standoff between armed men.
More than 270 bodies, mostly young people, were scattered across the site of a music festival on a kibbutz in the Negev desert after Hamas attackers used paragliders to cross the border and fire indiscriminately into the crowd.
The Israeli military said more than 900 people have been killed in Israel.
In Gaza and the West Bank, 704 people have been killed, according to authorities there; Israel says there are hundreds of Hamas fighters among them. Thousands have been injured on both sides.