Operation Al-Aqsa Flood

On the morning of 7 Oct 2023 Hamas launched its response to the storming of the Al-Aqsa mosque by Israeli settlers, with its Operation ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’. There were claims that over 5,000 rockets were fired into southern Israel from Gaza. Israel has declared ‘a state of war’. In response, Israeli forces launched ‘Operation Iron Swords’ into the Gaza Strip. For more, read on…

Another title for this post would be “The Great Gaza Jailbreak of 2023”. We’ll get to that. This will be a preliminary report in two parts on what is a rapidly escalating situation. This first part will cover the event itself and the world reaction to it. In the 2nd part we will look at the effects on Israel and where this will be headed into the immediate future.

There is a quick note before we begin, however. Some Western media (like Wikipedia) call this operation by Hamas, ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Storm’. It’s a quibble, I know, but from the Arabic news sites I have seen, they are calling this ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’. While I am not a native Arabic speaker myself, and this is a simple matter of semantics, it is mentioned because we want to keep the situation clear in our heads. With this in mind, we begin.

Al-Aqsa Flood began at 6:34 local time, though times seem to vary on the order of a few minutes. It won’t matter in considering the chart. The accounting of events on the day was as follows, from a preliminary Wikipedia post (before they had a chance to modify it):

“The attack began at 06:34 in the morning with a widespread launch of Palestinian rockets towards Israel, from Dimona in the south to Hod HaSharon in the north and Jerusalem in the east. Hits were observed in many places, and some resulted in casualties, especially in the Bedouin communities [in Hebrew]. With the rocket fire, dozens of Palestinian militants infiltrated communities in the Gaza envelope [not referenced in article], including through drones and breaches in the IDF fence, riding on motorcycles and ATVs [and also hang-gliding]. The IDF was completely caught off guard by the attack. The militants were seen in Sderot, Ofakim, and Netivot. According to Israel’s Police Commissioner, Kobi Shabtai, there are still 21 active hotspots in the southern region.”

Defense Minister Yoav Galiant approved a wide-scale call-up of reserves and declared a special state in a radius of up to 80 kilometers from the Gaza Strip border. About an hour after the attack began, the IDF spokesperson instructed residents of the south and central regions to stay close to protected areas, and within the Gaza envelope, in a protected space. About two hours after the attack began, the IDF began its offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The chart for the event is below (bigger):

The main standout in the chart is the Mars/Pluto square, which in itself can denote extreme violence. That also forms a t-square with the nodal axis, with an added feature – Eris conjunct the north node, opposed by Mars. Eris was said to accompany Mars on the battlefield. That is certainly the case here, and the event has sown discord across the region, if not the world. In addition, Mars has two companions (its moons) on the battlefield – fear (Phobos) and panic (Deimos). Eris was said to be insatiable in her desire for bloodshed. It is a very powerful t-square, and not a good omen for peace talks. But it also shows the calls for massive bloodshed from the Israeli side. Hamas is looking at a war of liberation rather than wholesale destruction. It is doubtful there will be any talk of peace in the coming days.

The Operation was well-planned, probably over years, denoted by the trine of Mars (warfare) to Saturn (planning). Venus opposes Saturn in the event chart, showing the emotional heaviness and grief in the event, on all sides, amplified by the semisquare of Saturn to Chiron. It is doubtful we will see any attempts at a real resolution of this war (which it is, and in fact is a civil war) until Saturn goes direct in about a month.

The Horizon axis (Ascendant/Descendant) denotes the belligerents – Hamas and Israel in this case – with the attacker (Descendant) being ruled by Mars, with Eris and the north node in the 7th house (open enemies). This shows a provocation, and it was provoked, covered in a bit. We find Uranus and Jupiter in the 8th house (death, transformation, foreign finance), showing this as a sudden and transformative event, moreover denoting a new order to be established at the outcome of hostilities.

The ‘conditions at the end of hostilities’ is ruled by Saturn (4th house ruler), itself in the 5th house (ambassadors, the ruin of one’s credit, social affairs and functions, children and schools), showing diplomatic efforts will be difficult, that events will be very difficult for children, and the ruining of goodwill that had been developing between Israel and its Arab neighbors. The latter is a significant point, a principle behind the conflict, addressed shortly. Saturn in the 5th in a mundane chart shows difficulties and slow movement in diplomatic relations. Hamas has decided diplomacy between themselves and Israelis is a dead end. They are not responding to any calls for such at this point.

But Saturn in the 5th in this case denotes something else – the fact the attacks started at a peace party held just outside the border with Gaza. The peace party (a rave party) is shown by Venus in the 11th house (friends, hopes and wishes), while Saturn (karma, grief, revenge) opposes it from the 5th. The massacre at the party was an act of vengeance, as well as a message to Israelis. But part of the massacre was the result of IDF forces present there firing into the crowd.

The rave party was the first area to be hit by rocket fire and militants. There were many deaths and hostages taken. In times of war targeting civilians is a war crime, and should be condemned. On the other side Hamas was speaking the language of violence the Israelis taught them. It is worth mentioning, too, that military service in Israel is compulsory for all citizens – men and women – and that the great majority of people at the party were either in the IDF or had been through it as conscripts. You can draw your own conclusions for what that might mean in the eyes of the Palestinians. Are all people in Israel over the age of 18 thus legitimate targets? But an eye for an eye only provokes more hatred, makes both parties blind to realities and greatly lessens the possibilities for conflict resolution. This has been the story between the Israelis and Palestinians all along.

There is far more we could say, but we close this part out by mentioning the midpoints to the Horizon axis:

    • Asc=Mars/Nep: “A weak and unstable person, a lack of vigour necessary for advancement in life. – The sharing of grief and sorrow with others, the termination of associations or unions.”
    • Asc=Sat/Ura: “Being placed in difficult circumstances, the fate of standing alone in the world. – The suffering of difficulties caused by others, experiencing emotional suffering together with others, mourning and bereavement.”

This is all clear enough. There is already quite more than enough grief and sorrow to go around on all sides, the difficult situations being front and center, the termination of associations the war will produce, and so on. Israel finds itself as the weak party here, which is made clear when we look at the Israeli chart in the next section. As to why we call this a war instead of a conflict, Bibi Netanyahu has declared it as such:

“Citizens of Israel, we are at war. Not an operation, not a round [of fighting,] at war! This morning Hamas initiated a murderous surprise attack against the state of Israel and its citizens…We have been in this since the early morning hours. I have convened the heads of the defense establishment. I’ve given directives, first and foremost, to clear the [affected] urban areas of the terrorists who penetrated them. This is happening right now.

In parallel, I am initiating an extensive mobilization of the reserves to fight back on a scale and intensity that the enemy has so far not experienced. The enemy will pay an unprecedented price…I urge the public to follow strictly the directives of the military, the Home Front Command. We are at war and will win.”

The last statement is doubtful if history is any measure. 660,000 reservists of the IDF have been mobilized thus far.

Now the Israeli government is calling for the extermination of Hamas, which they think they can do by occupying Gaza. You cannot exterminate an idea, and any attempt to occupy Gaza will only further radicalize Palestinians and possibly open a second front from Hezbollah. Hezbollah has vowed to intervene if the IDF invades Gaza. It appears the IDF may be getting cold feet on the idea. Both Hamas and Hezbollah oppose the two-state solution.

Hamas is an organization the Israelis themselves helped to form and which they funded for years through Qatar and Israeli taxpayers. Netanyahu was also involved in that in the ‘90s. It was formed to divide the Palestinians (so the Israeli thinking was at the time), with infighting between Fatah (the PLO party headed by Arafat at the time and then by Abbas in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza. It followed the old divide-and-rule tactic to keep one’s enemies weak. Well, Hamas is no longer weak.

Hamas chose an opportune day to launch their operation. It was a day after the 50th anniversary of the start of the Yom Kippur War. It was the end of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot on the day of Simchat Torah, the date that starts a new cycle, which is interesting symbolism. The West was otherwise occupied with figuring out how they were going to keep Ukraine going for another year at least. Western weapons stocks were severely depleted, especially of artillery shells. The US has commandeered Israeli stocks to be sent to Ukraine. Israel was distracted and its troops were concentrated on the West Bank, where they had been monitoring another gathering, expecting violence there instead.

There are two more astrological factors to consider, which are the directions of Jupiter and Pluto to Israel’s Mercury, shown in the chart for the next post, but they are pertinent here. Jup/Plu=Mer represents the propaganda that is being spun around this event. The rhetoric and fog of war on both sides is flowing hot and fast. On the Israeli side Netanyahu stated (above), “I ordered a massive mobilization of reserves, we are at war and the enemy will pay a price he did not know.” On the other side, Abu Hamza, spokesman for the Al-Quds Brigades has this to say (in Arabic):

“The Al-Quds Brigades and the Resistance are today recording “a new chapter of victory and breaking the prestige of the enemy entity,” stressing that what happened within Operation “Al-Aqsa Flood” and through a series of operations behind enemy lines, is “a resounding historical shock.” The Al-Aqsa Flood revealed that this enemy “is an illusion made of dust and capable of being defeated and broken,”

The bolded bits are added, but important. Then we come to the West, with the propaganda about the present war and why nothing is ever resolved around it. To start, as soon as the fighting began, on the same day there was a chorus across Western media and politics parroting the word “Unprovoked”, regarding what was called an “invasion” by Hamas. Well, technically Gaza is a part of Israel, even if autonomous. It is the same for the West Bank. An invasion implies a foreign force. So, Hamas could not have ‘invaded Israel’. This is narrative steering.

Hamas and the Palestinians (Hamas, too, are Palestinians) would be Israeli citizens of those living within the 1947 borders, although they are registered as refugees in the largest part. About half of the total number of Palestinians live within those borders. The other half are largely refugees. The ones who have documented Israeli citizenship amount to around 20% of the total Israeli population, although they are treated as second-class citizens. Whether or not the remainder are citizens is a highly politicized issue. Israel is an apartheid state by definition.

What we have with the present conflict technically, although Bibi calls it a war, is an insurrection by Hamas, even a civil war as events are unfolding. But the Western response/reaction to the events there, albeit predictable given the influence if the various Israeli lobbies in Western governments, betrays something else – a deliberate scripting of the narrative rather than steering in order to rally the Western public and the wider world to support Israel instead of Hamas.

Caitlin Johnstone penned a tweet the day after explaining the spin being put on the Hamas insurrection where she cited some of the examples of the use of the word ‘unprovoked’. When we see that kind of united, simultaneous use of a single word or phrase to paint a group in a certain light, then we can be fairly certain the opposite is true. It is called the illusory truth effect. The truth is, Hamas was provoked, as were all Palestinians – indeed, all Muslims. We will get to that, too, in the next section.

George Galloway put the record straight on the provocation (video, must watch), from his own personal experience and observations. He quoted Gideon Levy (Israeli journalist, video) and David Cameron (ex-British PM), who both stated Gaza is the world’s largest open-air prison and being such, people will try to break out of it. So they have. Hence the alternative title mentioned at the start here.

In the West, however, the situation regarding propaganda and narrative is even worse with Israel than it was with Russia at the start of the Russian SMO in February of 2022. All pro-Palestinian comment is being removed from all Western media, legacy and social. Arab journalists were suspended from their shows at MSNBC. They were attacked for their comments on victim-blaming. There is no nuance or discussion allowed. Pro-Palestinian protests have been outlawed in France and Germany.

The messaging in the West about the war is clear and brutal, we might say: Endlessly parroted are statements such as “Israel has a right to defend itself” (So do Palestinians, by the way), calls for a ceasefire are ‘disgraceful’ and ‘repugnant’ (Why, pray tell, is that repugnant??), “There is a ‘moral duty’ to destroy Hamas, while ‘Israelis are killed, but Palestinians have died’ thus far.

Even Washington is telling its diplomats not to use the terms “de-escalation/ceasefire”, “end to violence/bloodshed” and “restoring calm” in press materials. For Washington the war is on, siding with Israel. But enough of that. There are some stats that may bring some further insight into matters present:

Getting back to the rave party, then, why would the Israelis be throwing a concert for ‘peace’ next door to a concentration camp (2.2 million Palestinians live in Gaza)? It is at least irresponsible, could be seen as a provocation itself, and showed their indifference to the suffering going on just across the border. It is like throwing a huge banquet for family and friends while a homeless family watches hungrily from across the street, never to be invited.

Along the same line, the Palestinian ambassador to the UK held the BBC to account (video, must watch) by refusing to condemn the violence by Hamas in an effort to reinforce the Western narrative. Instead, he pointed out there was never any condemnation of Israel when the IDF and security forces did the same thing to Palestinians, and had done so for the past 75 years. The BBC had him on in the hopes they could coax a condemnation of Hamas from him. To his credit, he stood his ground and pointed out some inconvenient truth.

To add to the propaganda and the narrative spin, other nations are being added to the blame game – notably Iran and Russia (the EU and UK cannot seem to help themselves. The attack did happen on Putin’s birthday, after all.) – to shift blame away from the Israeli government, which in effect is a Zionist regime. We’ll get to that, too, but the recent story that appeared in the Wall Street Journal blaming Iran is patent nonsense. Try as they might, the neocons want to go war with Iran, too.

Nikki Haley says America is under attack! Maybe I missed something but I was not aware Israel had acceded to the Union. Perhaps she should study geography. The hyperbole in her diatribe reflects her campaign trail, where every candidate for President must toe the line for the defense of Israel.

And Ursula von der Leyen has declared the EU stands with Israel! This unelected bureaucrat is simply parroting the Atlantiscist line, while routinely ignoring Israeli crimes against Palestinian civilians. Maybe the crowd in Brussels support Israel, but there are a great many citizens in the EU who stand with the Palestinians. The EU leadership over the past decade has taken a sharp turn toward support of Israel.

One of the more disturbing diatribes out of the US came from chicken hawk Lindsey Graham, who advocated hitting Iran’s oil refineries if Hezbollah entered the conflict with Hamas. The man needs to be retired, as he is advocating a hot regional war that would bring the world economy to a complete halt. We’ll get to that, too, in the next section. The man has no idea what such an action would provoke. But to put a point on it, bomb, bomb, bombing Iran would end American influence and military bases in West Asia. Lindsey never saw a defense industry stock he didn’t like. The Lockheed Martin stock price jumped over the weekend (Oct 6 – 9), for example.

We could go on and on about the fog of war being pumped out, with Western media showing heart-breaking pictures (no I won’t link them) of Israeli civilian casualties, women, children and old men. Then the atrocity porn started with tales of 40 babies with severed heads, which even Biden parroted, within the ‘Israeli Bucha’, which has been debunked. But we never see the horrors endured among the Palestinians (I won’t link those either, but there are plenty).

In the propaganda of wars there are always civilian casualties. But the one-sided nature of what we are presented in the West is meant to harden us against the Palestinians and to manufacture consent for Western intervention there, shades of the ‘babies in incubators’ of the 1st Gulf War and other similar fabrications. But there is one aspect of the conflict the Western media assiduously avoids: What were the Palestinians to do, given they were facing either expulsion from Palestine or extermination? There are two videos that explain the situation, HERE and HERE.

The truth of the matter is this: The hardliners (far right) in Israel want two things – to demolish the al-Aqsa Mosque in order to build a third Jewish temple on that site, and to expel all the Palestinians from the 1947 Palestine borders. To do that, they needed a big event that would rally the Israeli public and the Western powers to support such a thing, which in turn would require dissolving the Israeli Supreme Court, which stands in the way of their plans. So, like Hamas and Hezbollah, the Israeli right wing is opposed to a two-state solution. With such intransigence, how do we realistically think this will play out?

At the moment it would appear inevitable that either there will be a wider regional war, or that Israel itself will go up in flames. It will take extraordinary political will on the part of Western leaders, especially in the US, to enforce the two-state solution on the Israelis, which would mean expelling the settlers from the agreed-upon 1967 borders. The Israelis would never accept it. And given the stubborn US tendency to double down on military means instead of accepting defeat and given the quality of the present US leadership with all their rhetoric, well, the answer is probably obvious as to which way the situation will go now.

Then there are all the conspiracy and more plausible theories about how Hamas was able to launch such a wide-scale surprise attack and catch the IDF and Mossad off-guard, along with the objectives at play. Let the games begin!:

      • Hamas uses Huawei phones, which are difficult to hack, thereby Mossad was unable to eavesdrop on Hamas’ planning and execution of the attack.
      • The IDF and Mossad knew Hamas was going to attack but let it happen anyway, thus sacrificing Israeli lives in order to justify flattening Gaza and pushing all the remaining Palestinians out of Israel for good.
      • Allegedly Egypt had warned Mossad in the days leading up to the attack, but Mossad chose to ignore the warning, seeing it as nonsense.
      • Iran helped to plan this attack and was directly involved behind the scenes. Iran wants to see the Zionist regime removed from the Earth.
      • The Americans were behind it because, well, the war in Ukraine is not going so well and we need a cover story so we can leave Ukraine. On the other side…
      • Biden needs some kind of ‘win’ going into the election year. How about we provoke a conflict in Israel, feign full support, park a carrier strike group 50 miles off the Israeli coast to show we have Israel’s back. That should go down well with the donor class.
      • Bibi engineered all this by egging on the provocations against Palestinians, thus forcing Hamas to act. That should keep him out of jail, and he can push through his judicial reforms, frame himself as Israel’s saviour while the world is watching Gaza being bombed into oblivion.
      • Hamas was able to hack and deactivate Israeli security monitoring devices.
      • Hamas went ‘old school’ and ditched electronic communications for planning.

Truth be known, there are probably elements of all the above points that contributed to the current melee, but no single theory stands out as the root cause. There is one that stands out above the rest, though:

      • The Israelis, through hubris and being occupied elsewhere, dropped the proverbial ball. Hamas bided their time, waiting for the most opportune and symbolic moment, then struck. It could have happened that way, you know?

In fact, the commencement of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood has exposed the weak points of the Israeli military and security apparatus. How events proceed from here depends on Netanyahu, who is in a precarious position. If he sends a large army into Gaza, no doubt the IDF will be facing a war on more than two fronts with heavy casualties on all sides, with a swarm of drones and missiles at the ready from several directions from the Axis of Resistance.

For all his bluster, the events to follow may be Bibi’s Waterloo rather than a great victory for the IDF. The image of the invincibility of the IDF and of the star performance of Mossad and Israeli intelligence services in general have taken a big hit internationally. With this background in mind, we move to the next section to look at what this is likely to mean for Israel and the wider world. Continued in Part II…

Featured pic from Vanessa Beeley’s Substack

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