The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group identified on Monday 12 members of its military wing who were killed in three days of intense fighting with Israel, including two of the terror group’s top commanders in Gaza.
The Israel Defense Forces has said it believes a far higher number of Islamic Jihad terrorists were killed in the fighting, but stresses that its figures are estimates.
PIJ’s al-Quds Brigades released a graphic with photos of the fighters, among them Tayseer Jabari and Khaled Mansour, the leaders of Islamic Jihad’s northern and southern brigades in Gaza, respectively.
The former was killed in an Israeli strike Friday that kicked off the conflict, while the latter was targeted on Saturday night.
Hamas, the terror group that controls Gaza, said two members of its military wing were killed in the fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad, while the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said one of its fighters was killed.
The IDF made clear it was not interested in an escalation with Gaza’s rulers and avoided targeting the terror group’s operatives and assets.
The Israel Defense Forces embarked on Operation Breaking Dawn after several days of road closures and lockdowns in Israeli communities near the Strip due to what it said was the possibility of an imminent attack, with Islamic Jihad seeking to avenge the August 1 arrest of its West Bank leader, Bassem Saadi.
Israeli leaders and military officials said the operation was started because Islamic Jihad had refused to back down from its plans to attack Israeli targets close to the border.
The IDF announced on Monday it was removing all the safety precautions, including the reopening of roads near the Gaza border and restrictions on gatherings, after a ceasefire came into effect on Sunday at 11:30 p.m. and held.
According to the IDF, Palestinian terrorists fired over 1,100 rockets toward Israel during the fighting, around 380 of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, with a success rate of 95-97 percent. The military estimated that around 200 projectiles failed to clear the border and landed inside the Strip.
In a briefing to reporters, an IDF spokesperson said the military believes Israeli strikes killed 35 people in Gaza during the fighting, 11 of them civilians.
According to the military’s estimates, an additional 16 people uninvolved in the hostilities were killed by Gazan rockets that fell short.
The Gaza Health Ministry, run by Hamas, said that at least 44 Palestinians had been killed, including 15 children, and 360 people had been wounded since Friday. Israel is said to believe that most of the children killed in Gaza died as a result of rocket misfires by Islamic Jihad.
Several Israelis were lightly injured by shrapnel during the fighting, or while running for shelter when the rocket sirens sounded.
Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report.