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On October 7, 2023, Hamas and other Gaza-based militant Palestinian factions launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood (also called Al-Aqsa Storm), a surprise attack on Israel in the early morning of the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah. As part of the attack, thousands of rockets were fired into Israel and mujahideen infiltrated Israeli towns and military bases near the Gaza strip, killing hundreds of civilians and soldiers and taking captives. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a mass mobilization and declared "we are at war" during a televised address on the developments.
On October 9, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) issued a three-page "Statement Regarding the Blessed Al-Aqsa Flood Operation." The Arabic-language statement encourages the Palestinian factions to continue the attack and calls on Muslims worldwide – especially those in countries bordering Israel – to support their jihad in any way possible. It also urges all Palestinian factions to correct their path, unite, and support the mujahideen in other countries against their enemies.
Congratulations Over "Victory" Of Palestinian Factions, Call For Mujahideen To Continue Their Offensive
The statement opens by congratulating all Muslims, particularly Palestinians, over the "blessed and successful victories in the Gaza envelope and other occupied lands," carried out by Hamas' 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades and other Palestinian factions, declaring: "Your victory is a victory for the entire ummah [Islamic nation]."
Thanking those behind the offensive for their "acts of worship and jihad," AQAP states that the "daring operation which surprised the enemy" gladdened Muslims who had been demoralized by the "filthy, impure Jews'" aggression against the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestinian prisoners, and made "the media halo about [Israel's] army and intelligence […] into a mirage." The statement urges: "O mujahideen, you have begun to march, so finish the journey, and beware of falling back, for that will be your destruction, and make the enemy dominant over you, your families, nation, and ummah […] Know that if one supports Allah, Allah will support him and make him steadfast."
Call To Muslims In Countries Bordering Israel And Worldwide To Provide Tangible Support To Offensive
Addressing the "ummah of Islam in the East and West," the statement declares: "These mujahideen sons of yours have rallied all their forces […] to […] remove the enemies' domination over you, so be the best helpers for them and support them with all that is dear to you, and beware of letting them down."
AQAP tells Muslims in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan: "You are the closest countries to wounded Palestine. The burden on you is heavier and the obligation on you is greater, so arise to defend your brothers there and make preparations to support and back them however you can." The Al-Qaeda affiliate warns residents of countries bordering Israel not to allow "the rulers of collaboration and subjection to the West and East" or the "scholars of the rulers and jurists of the dollar" to prevent them from supporting the Palestinians' jihad, as it is forbidden to obey them when they call to disobey Allah. AQAP urges these Muslims: "Arise and defend them, assist them with whatever they need – men, money, food, and moral, tangible, and practical support," assuring them that they are capable of providing real support.
Call To Palestinian Factions To Repent, Unite, And Support Mujahideen In Other Countries
Addressing "our people in Palestine," AQAP encourages them: "May Allah help you […] bring down on you calm and serenity, and assist you with the soldiers of heaven and earth […] make your feet steadfast, and grant you victory over the nation of unbelievers."
With respect to the Palestinian factions in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, other parts of Israel, and other countries, the statement urges them to abide by the Quran's directive (3:102-103): "O believers! Be mindful of Allah in the way He deserves, and do not die except in submission [to Him]. And hold firmly together to the rope of Allah and do not be divided. Remember Allah’s favor upon you when you were enemies, then He united your hearts, so you—by His grace—became brothers." It further tells them: "Hold fast to your religion […] Repent sincerely to your Lord from everything that makes Allah angry at you, cast aside whatever causes division and disagreement between you and your Muslim brothers, and be with your Muslim brothers against every enemy hostile to them, just as they are with you against every enemy hostile to you."
The statement concludes with a prayer to Allah: "Defeat the usurping Jews and those crusaders and all apostates who help them and support them, shake them, and grant us victory over them […] O Allah, defend Your Muslim servants in Palestine and other countries and assist them […] O Allah, grant success to us and all our brothers the mujahideen everywhere to purify our holy sites from the filth of all enemies and liberate our countries from every occupier, usurper, and enemy of our religion, Prophet, and Book."
The AQAP statement follows celebrations of the Al-Aqsa Flood offensive and pledges of support from the various Iran-backed Shi'ite groups in Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen, including Hizbullah and the Ansar Allah (Houthi) Movement.
 See MEMRI JTTM Report: Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Lions' Den Threaten Lone Wolf Attacks, Claim Capture Of Israeli Soldiers, Call On Palestinians To Disable Surveillance Systems As Part Of Ongoing Hamas Attack, October 7, 2023.
 October 9, 2023.
 See MEMRI JTTM Reports: Iran-Backed Militias In Lebanon, Iraq, And Yemen Release Statements On Telegram In Support Of Hamas Attack – Lebanese Hizbullah: 'Rifle Of Resistance Is The Only Option In Confronting The Occupation'; Yemen's Ansar Allah Houthi Movement: 'Yemeni People Are Ready To Participate In Operation', October 7, 2023; Leaders Of Iran-Backed Militias In Iraq Vow Support To Palestinian Factions In Hamas Attack, Threaten To Respond To Any Israeli Or American Attack Against Them, October 7, 2023; and Political Leader Of Ansar Allah Houthi Movement Delivers Remarks At Rally In Sana'a, Yemen, In Support Of Hamas Attack, Addresses Israel: 'Today We Saw Your Trained Soldiers Kneel', October 7, 2023.
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