Hamas, the group running the besieged Gaza Strip, announces the start of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel. Its statement comes after a barrage of rockets is fired from Gaza towards Israel.
The mayor of Kuseife, Abd al-Aziz Nassara, told Israel’s Kan public broadcaster that there are at least four dead and several more wounded after the attacks on the town.
At least 100 people have been wounded from rocket fire in southern and central Israel, according to medics.
Many are in very serious condition, Israeli media has said, with the number of casualties likely to rise.
Ismail Haniyeh, the political chief of Hamas, said in a statement Palestinian resistance was in a “heroic fight” to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque.
“Our brave and hard-working Palestinian people, those freeing the world, the Palestinian resistance, in these historical moments are engaged in a heroic fight for Al-Aqsa Mosque, our sacred sites, and our prisoners,” he said.
“Over the last few days, thousands of fascist and criminal settlers desecrated the shrine of the Prophet [Muhammad] and performed their prayers there to impose sovereignty over the area. If the world will be silent, we will not be silent about this aggression.”
Footage published by Hamas’ military wing the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades showed that fighters have taken over an Israeli military site.
Other footage showed a destroyed Israeli tank.