Welcome to The Times of Israel’s Daily Briefing, your 15-minute audio update on what’s happening in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world, from Sunday through Thursday.
Military correspondent Emanuel Fabian, Zman Yisrael editor Biranit Goren, and news editor Amy Spiro join host Amanda Borschel-Dan in today’s episode.
Operation Shield and Arrow was launched with an early morning surprise attack in the Gaza Strip, targeting three high-level Islamic Jihad leaders. At least 13 people were killed after a coordinated attack throughout the Gaza Strip around 2:30 a.m. Israel time. Fabian debriefs on who the attack’s targets were.
Fabian takes us through the airstrikes, which involved 40 aircraft, including fighter jets, that carried out the main strikes within seconds of each other at three locations in the Strip. We hear how they are similar to previous IDF strikes.
As Israel awaits reprisal rockets that are expected to come after the three leaders’ funerals, the IDF’s Home Front Command has issued instructions for residents of areas near Gaza. Fabian reports on closures and other instructions, including for the Mount Meron site where thousands are celebrating Lag B’Omer.
Also today, the IDF is continuing to conduct raids in the West Bank and thwart alleged terrorist attacks. We learn what happened in Nablus this morning.
Operation Shield and Arrow comes days after Gazan terrorists led by Islamic Jihad fired 104 rockets at Israel on May 2. The hard-right members of the coalition were frustrated by Israel’s perceived lack of response then. Many coalition critics are suggesting that last night’s attack was in part to appease those elements — or to deflect attention from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trial, in which a key witness, Ari Harow, is set to take the stand. Goren weighs in.
The show must go on: Noa Kirel is set to represent Israel in the first Eurovision semifinal tonight. Spiro discusses Kirel’s chances — especially in light of the new system of popular voting to determine who makes it to the grand final on Saturday night in Liverpool.