The Times of Israel liveblogged Friday’s events as they unfolded.
Rocket sirens warning of incoming fire are sounding intermittently overnight Friday-Saturday across southern Israel, as the Israeli military has continued to carry out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip targeting Palestinian Islamic Jihad weapons sites and launching positions.
Sirens were heard in Sderot, Nir Am, Nahal Oz, Kfar Aza, Nitzamin, and Kerem Shalom, all near the Palestinian enclave, in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
There are no immediate reports of injuries.
The Israeli military says air force jets have struck a number of Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket-launching positions in the northern Gaza Strip.
The Israel Defense Forces publish footage from one of the strikes.
צה"ל תקף משגרי רקטות נוספים של ארגון הטרור גא"פ.
כלי טיס של צה"ל תקפו לפני זמן קצר, משגרי רקטות נוספים של ארגון הטרור הג'יהאד האיסלמי הפלסטיני בצפון רצועת עזה pic.twitter.com/tOcCNY8i9J
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) August 5, 2022
Earlier, the IDF said it targeted a launching site that was used to fire a barrage of at least 10 rockets at Israel on Friday night.
The Israeli military says fresh airstrikes in Gaza overnight Friday-Saturday stuck multiple weapons sites run by terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Israeli Air Force jets “attacked additional sites for the production of materials that are used to make rockets” belonging to PIJ, the army says in a statement.
A production site for mortal shells was also hit, the IDF says.
“The IDF continues at this time to attack PIJ terror targets throughout the Gaza Strip,” the military adds.
מבצע "עלות השחר":
התקיפות נמשכות: צה"ל תקף אתרים נוספים לייצור אמל"ח של ארגון הטרור הג'יהאד האיסלמי הפלסטיני
מטוסי קרב תקפו אתר נוסף לייצור חומרים המשמשים לייצור רקטות של ארגון הטרור גא"פ.
בנוסף הותקפו אתרים לייצור פצצות מרגמה>> pic.twitter.com/aom75CInxK
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) August 5, 2022
Turkey condemns Israel’s airstrikes in the Gaza Strip and says it’s “deeply concerned” about the latest rounds of violence.
“We strongly condemn the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza on Aug. 5. We find it unacceptable that civilians, including children, lost their lives in attacks,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement reported by the Daily Sabah.
“We are deeply concerned about the rising tension in the region after the attacks. We emphasize the need to immediately end these events before they turn into a new conflict, and call for restraint and common sense,” the statements reads.
Israel launched Operation Breaking Dawn in the Gaza Strip on Friday in response to what leaders said was an ongoing “concrete” threat by Gaza-based terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) to target Israeli civilians and soldiers in Gaza-border areas.
In its initial round of strikes, the military said six sites were hit by fighter jets and armed drones. One of the strikes killed one of the PIJ’s senior commanders, Tayseer Jabari.
Jabari replaced Abu al-Ata as the group’s commander in northern Gaza after the latter’s assassination by Israel in 2019. The PIJ confirmed Jabari’s death.
A senior military official said Jabari and many of his fighters were planning to attack civilians near the border.
The IDF on Friday also targeted the head of the anti-tank guided missile array and several squads preparing attacks. The army estimated that between 10-20 terror operatives had been killed in the opening wave of airstrikes.
By nightfall, the Hamas-run health ministry confirmed that at least 10 people had been killed, including a five-year-old girl, and 55 others wounded.
Israeli leaders said the airstrikes were necessary after PIJ refused to back down from its intentions to carry out attacks. PIJ had been threatening since Tuesday to attack — to reinforce its demand that Israel release its West Bank commander, Bassem Saadi, who was arrested in an IDF raid in Jenin on Monday — causing days of road closures and community lockdowns in areas near the border under immediate threat.
Israeli officials are said to have told Egyptian mediators that its airstrikes in the Gaza Strip will continue in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave, Al-Arabiya reports (Arabic).
According to the Al Arabiya report, Egyptian mediators asked Israel to stop targeting senior terror leaders from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group (PIJ).
A Middle Eastern diplomat told The Times of Israel earlier that Egypt is currently mediating between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in an effort to bring an end to the ongoing round of violence. A delegation from Cairo is slated to depart for Gaza tomorrow, the diplomat said.
Dozens of rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza since Friday evening, sending residents of southern Israel into bomb shelters where many will spend the night.
The volleys came hours after the IDF launched Operation Breaking Dawn in Gaza on Friday with multiple strikes on targets of the PIJ, killing a senior commander, Tayseer Jabari, in one of them
Israel said the operation came in response to what leaders said was an ongoing “concrete” threat to target Israeli civilians and soldiers in Gaza-border areas.
“Jabari was responsible for the concrete threat in the last three-four days to fire anti-tank missiles and mow down Israeli civilians or soldiers in the Gaza border area,” IDF Spokesman Ran Kochav said Friday.
A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip landed in an open area in a Sderot neighborhood that is under construction, the municipality says.
No injuries are reported as the neighborhood is not populated. A fence sustained light damage as a result of the rocker fire, the city of Sderot says.
The Magen David Adom ambulance service says it has taken five people in southern Israel to hospitals since the Israeli military launched Operation Breaking Dawn against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip earlier Friday.
MDA says it treated four people who were lightly hurt after falling down while running to bomb shelters amid Islamic Jihad rocket attacks, and one person for anxiety.
They were taken to the Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon and the Assuta hospital in Ashdod.
MDA says another three people were treated for minor injuries after falling down while running to shelters but did not require hospitalization. Several others were treated for anxiety.
Incoming rocket sirens sound again in Sderot and other towns near the border with the Gaza Strip.
According to initial reports, several rockets are intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system.
There are no immediate reports of damage or injuries in the latest wave.
The Israel Defense Forces says it struck a Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket launching position in the Gaza Strip.
The IDF says the site was used to launch at least 10 rockets at Israel earlier tonight.
The military publishes a video of the airstrike.
IDF says it struck a PIJ rocket launching position, from which at least 10 rockets were launched at Israel. pic.twitter.com/radIFJC6wC
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) August 5, 2022
Palestinian media reports say Israeli jets are currently striking sites in the southern Gaza Strip.
The Israel Defense Forces confirms it has launched a new wave of airstrikes against Palestinian Islamic Jihad targets in the coastal enclave.
Meanwhile, incoming rocket sirens sound in Ashkelon, Sderot and other towns near the border with Gaza, with no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad members in the northern West Bank city of Jenin are holding a rally in solidarity with their fellow fighters in Gaza who are in the midst of a military campaign against Israel that began earlier tonight.
Tensions that led to the IDF’s killing of a senior PIJ commander in Gaza earlier this afternoon are believed to have been started on Monday when the IDF arrested the terror group’s West Bank leader in Jenin.
PIJ subsequently raised its alert and began issuing threats against Israel in what led the government to shut down major highways, effectively dragging border town residents into a lockdown for four days.
Israel says that it moved to kill Tayseer Jabari earlier Friday after it became aware of direct threats to its citizens.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz held a phone call with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin earlier tonight and updated him on the IDF’s efforts in Operation Breaking Dawn, his office says.
“Minister Gantz emphasized that the State of Israel is working to defend its citizens, and will operate decisively and with as great precision as possible against terror operatives and infrastructure in order to reach its objectives,” the statement adds.
Jordan’s foreign ministry joins Qatar in condemning Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, which commenced nearly three hours ago.
Amman calls on the international community to act in order to bring an end to the escalation.
Beersheba’s Soroka Hospital says it has begun transferring babies and other critical patients to protected wards amid the incessant rocket fire from Gaza.
היערכות סורוקה בצל ההסלמה במצב הביטחוני:
כל בעלי התפקידים במקצועות הקריטיים, כגון כירורגיה, טראומה, מיון, הרדמה, סיעוד ואחרים, נכנסו לכוננות גבוהה ולזמינות הגעה לביה"ח בשעות היום והלילה תוך זמן קצר.
אנו לקראת השלמת תהליך העברת מחלקות שאינן ממוגנות לאזורים ממוגנים. pic.twitter.com/4EADwDyHgx
— סורוקה- מרכז רפואי אוניברסיטאי (@soroka_mc) August 5, 2022
The Israel Defense Forces publishes a video of a series of Palestinian Islamic Jihad sites it struck in the Gaza Strip.
The IDF says it hit a rocket material manufacturing site, weapons production site, rocket launching position and military site.
“The attack on the sites [causes] significant damage to the terror organization’s ability to develop military capabilities,” the IDF says.
IDF says it struck a PIJ rocket material manufacturing site, weapons production site, launching position, and military site in the Gaza Strip pic.twitter.com/4n1jvz2bnV
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) August 5, 2022
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan tears into UN Mideast envoy Tor Wennesland after the latter issued a statement that included an expression of concern over the IDF’s killing of a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander in what launched Operation Breaking Dawn.
“While the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is launching missiles at Israeli civilians, the UN envoy expresses ‘deep concern’ for the neutralization of a senior terrorist behind an imminent attack on Israelis,” Erdan tweets.
“Will he also express deep concern over the neutralization of al-Zawahiri?” Erdan adds, referring to the US killing of the leader of Al Qaeda earlier this week.
While the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is launching missiles at Israeli civilians, the UN envoy expresses “deep concern” for the neutralization of a senior terrorist behind an imminent attack on Israelis. Will he also express deep concern over the neutralization of al-Zawahiri? https://t.co/Ozx0LXeil8
— Ambassador Gilad Erdan גלעד ארדן (@giladerdan1) August 5, 2022
Wennesland said earlier that he was “deeply concerned by the ongoing escalation between Palestinian militants and Israel, including the targeted killing today of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader inside Gaza.”
Palestinian Islamic Jihad has fired 100 rockets in the last two hours, but there have been no reports of direct hits on Israeli buildings or direct injuries to Israeli civilians.
Two were briefly treated for panic attacks but have since been released.
Egypt is currently mediating between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in an effort to bring an end to the ongoing round of violence in Gaza, a Middle Eastern diplomat tells The Times of Israel.
A delegation from Cairo is slated to depart for Gaza tomorrow, the diplomat says.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad publishes a graphic on its Telegram channel with a picture of Tayseer Jabari, the commander of the terror group in northern Gaza, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike earlier today.
The graphic reads: “No red lines.”
خط قرمزی نداریم pic.twitter.com/pTCoiyLOUL
— أخٌفيالله (@mhrezaa2c) August 5, 2022
Incoming rocket sirens are continuing to sound in towns close to the border with the Gaza Strip.
The sirens are sounding in Magenm Ein HaBsor, and Be’eri with no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
Sirens also sounded in the southern part of Ashkelon a short while ago, with all rockets being intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system or landing in open areas, according to local authorities.
While the vast majority of the residents of Gaza border towns have remained in their homes since the rocket fire began two hours ago, several hundred have decided to independently evacuate to safer distances from the Strip, Channel 12 reports.
In Kerem Shalom, where some 200 families live just across the Gaza border, only roughly 30 families still remain.
The Israel Defense Forces says it is continuing to strike Palestinian Islamic Jihad sites across the Gaza Strip at this hour.
The IDF says that more information will be published later.
UN envoy appears to pan killing of PIJ commander, says he’s deeply saddened’ by death of 5-year-old in Gaza strike
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland expresses his “deep concern” over the ongoing violence between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza.
“I am deeply concerned by the ongoing escalation between Palestinian militants and Israel, including the targeted killing today of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader inside Gaza,” he says in an apparent condemnation of Israel’s assassinating of Tayseer Jabari
“I am deeply saddened by reports that a five-year-old child has been killed in these strikes. There can be no justification for any attacks against civilians,” Wennesland.
“The continuing escalation is very dangerous. The launching of rockets must cease immediately, and I call on all sides to avoid further escalation.”
“The progress made in gradually opening Gaza since the end of the May escalation risks being undone, leading to even greater humanitarian needs at a time when global resources are stretched and international financial support for a renewed humanitarian effort in Gaza will not be easily available.”
“The UN is fully engaged with all concerned in an attempt to avoid a further conflict which would have devastating consequences, mainly for civilians.”
The responsibility is with the parties to avoid this from happening.”
Magen David Adom’s latest statement says that no Israelis have been injured during any of tonight’s barrages of rocket fire from Gaza. However, Hebrew media reports that two civilians have been transferred to the hospital after suffering from panic attacks after the Red Alert sirens.
Gaza rocket fire has renews, with Red Alert sirens wailing in Ashkelon and in several surrounding towns.
Footage shows that at least some of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
The Tel Aviv municipality says it is opening public bomb shelters, following instructions by the military’s Home Front Command.
Rockets launched from Gaza this evening have not yet been directed at Tel Aviv.
Renewed incoming rocket sirens sound in Sderot.
According to initial reports, three rockets are intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system.
Meanwhile, Palestinian media reports say Israeli jets are striking sites in southern Gaza.
According to the Israel Defense Forces, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad launched some 80 rockets at southern Israel.
Nearly half of them fell short in the Gaza Strip. The IDF says 46 crossed the border, of which 33 were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system.
The rest fell in open areas, causing no injuries.
For its part, PIJ said earlier that it fired 100 rockets at Israel following the IDF’s killing of a senior commander.
The discrepancy may be due to the possibility that some of the rockets fell within the Strip.
The Israel Defense Forces says it has begun wide-scale airstrikes against Palestinian Islamic Jihad sites in the Gaza Strip.
The IDF says it is targeting Islamic Jihad weapons production sites, warehouses and rocket launching positions.
Footage filmed in the Gaza Strip shows a barrage of rockets being launched toward Israel, with the Iron Dome defense system interception.
A missile barrage fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza towards Israeli communities a short time ago. pic.twitter.com/iZrWZTbVyC
— Joe Truzman (@JoeTruzman) August 5, 2022
Gantz says Israel not interested in targeting Gazan civilians, but ‘will destroy those who threaten us’
Speaking after Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz stresses that Israel is not targeting Gaza in general or ordinary Gazans, but rather “those who are responsible for the deterioration.” He stresses that Islamic Jihad is responsible for the damage to the security and the economy of Gazans.
Noting that Islamic Jihad’s leader Ziad Nakhaleh is currently in Tehran, Gantz says that while he is there, the residents of Gaza are suffering. He also says that Hamas’s rule over Gaza, and its dire consequences, has to stop.
“We will destroy those who threaten us,” he warns, referring to former senior PIJ commander Baha Abu al-Ata who was assassinated by the IDF in 2019.
“This reality can and must be changed,” Gantz adds.
PIJ takes responsibility for rocket barrages at southern and central Israel, says they were ‘just the beginning’
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad says they fired over 100 rockets Friday evening.
A PIJ spokesman says the Gaza-based terror group takes responsibility for tonight’s rocket fire at southern and central Israeli towns and says it is “just the beginning” of the response to the IDF’s killing of senior PIJ commander Tayseer Jabari.
Lapid: ‘Zero tolerance’ for attacks from Gaza; Islamic Jihad is an Iranian proxy that wants to destroy Israel
In his first public appearance since signing off on Operation Breaking Dawn in Gaza earlier today, Prime Minister Yair Lapid says the battle “will take as long as it takes” and that the government has a zero-tolerance policy for any attempted attacks from Gaza toward Israel.
Speaking seconds after Islamic Jihad began firing rockets into Israel, he clarifies that Israel is not interested in a widespread military campaign but is not afraid to engage in one if necessary.
This is the full text of Lapid’s remarks:
“Approximately four hours ago, the Israel Defense Forces — in cooperation with the Israel Security Agency — struck Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza. Among those killed were Taysir al-Jabari, one of the two most senior commanders in Islamic Jihad, as well as a cell preparing to launch an anti-tank missile attack against Israel.
“The directive the security forces received from us was clear: Israel will not sit idly by when there are those who are trying to harm its civilians. This government has a zero-tolerance policy for any attempted attacks — of any kind — from Gaza toward Israeli territory.
“Terrorist organizations will not set the agenda in the area adjacent to Gaza, we will not tolerate any threat against our civilians. I thank Defense Minister Benny Gantz, the IDF and its commanders led by Chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, and the ISA led by Ronen Bar, for the quality of their intelligence and for their precise execution.
“At the same time, we won’t accept any ultimatums regarding the operations of the IDF and the security forces, including on other fronts. Everyone who needs to be arrested will be arrested. Any attempt to harm civilians or soldiers will be met with a harsh response.
“Today’s activity in Gaza was against concrete threats which disrupted daily routine in southern Israel. Israel isn’t interested in a wider conflict in Gaza, but will not shy away from one either.
“I call on everyone to obey directives in the coming days. I have faith in the Israeli public, and I’m sure they will give full backing to our security establishment. However long it may take — we will eliminate the threat to our citizens.
“The people of Israel are strong, they understand the importance of deterrence, they stand with the residents of the south. Our security forces are prepared with a set of powerful responses to any attack. We will face the enemy with strength, together.”
Switching to English, Lapid adds: “Israel carried out a precise counter-terror operation against an immediate threat. Our fight is not with the people of Gaza.
“Islamic Jihad is an Iranian proxy that wants to destroy the State of Israel and kill innocent Israelis. The head of Islamic Jihad is in Tehran as we speak.
“We will do whatever it takes to defend our people.”
The Magen David Adom ambulance service says it has not received any reports of injuries following the wave of rocket attacks on southern and central Israel.
According to local authorities, all of the rockets fired either landed in open areas or were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
Red alert sirens sound in the central Israeli cities of Bat Yam, Rishon Lezion and Holon as Gaza terrorists renew their rocket fire following the IDF’s killing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Tayseer Jabari.
Several barrages have been fired within the past 20 minutes, but the first rounds only targeted towns closer to the Gaza border.
In Tel Aviv, no sirens have gone off yet, but residents report hearing explosions of the Iron Dome missile interceptors.
The Israel Defense Forces says it struck two Islamic Jihad weapons storage sites and a rocket launcher in the Gaza Strip, using a drone.
צה"ל תקף מטרות אמל"ח ועמדת שיגור רקטות נוספת של ארגון הטרור גא"פ
כלי טיס של צה"ל תקפו לפני זמן קצר, שני מחסנים לאחסון אמצעי לחימה ועמדת שיגור רקטות נוספת של ארגון הטרור הג'יהאד האיסלמי הפלסטיני.
צה"ל ממשיך גם עכשיו לתקוף מטרות טרור של הגא"פ ברחבי רצועת עזה. pic.twitter.com/QoH9Tp6FBi
— Israeli Air Force (@IAFsite) August 5, 2022
Sirens wail throughout southern Israel as Gaza terrorists begin responding to IDF’s killing of PIJ commander
Incoming rocket sirens are sounding in the Lachish area near Ashkelon and in Israeli towns throughout the south.
Several Iron Dome interceptor missiles are seen engaging incoming rockets over southern Israel in at least two separate barrages from Gaza.
There is no immediate confirmation from the Israel Defense Forces on how many rockets were launched from Gaza and if they were intercepted.
The apparent rocket attack comes hours after the IDF launched Operation Breaking Dawn against the Islamic Jihad terror group in the Gaza Strip.
Several Iron Dome interceptor missiles seen engaging incoming rockets over southern Israel. pic.twitter.com/kMoXu7fwEU
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) August 5, 2022
After the way last year’s Gaza war sparked violence between Arabs and Jews in so-called “mixed cities” throughout Israel, the security establishment is on high alert in hopes that today’s Gaza operation will not spark similar scenes within Israel.
Thus far, streets throughout the country have been largely quiet. A small protest took place in Haifa of residents expressing solidarity with those under fire in Gaza, but it was controlled and was the only such demonstration known to have taken place.
“The United States firmly believes that Israel has a right to protect itself. We are engaging with different parties and urge all sides for calm,” tweets US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides.
In the coming minutes, Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Ministry Benny Gantz will give a joint statement to reporters on the IDF’s Operation Breaking Dawn in Gaza.
Qatar’s foreign ministry says its government “expresses its strong condemnation and denunciation of the [latest] Israeli aggression in Gaza,” becoming one of the first foreign governments to weigh in on the latest round of violence and to criticize Israel.
Qatar’s role in Gaza has long been critical, backing millions of dollars in aid that is used to help prop up the economy.
A Palestinian official tells the Kan public broadcaster that Palestinian Islamic Jihad has been significantly pressuring Hamas to join their military front against Israel following the IDF’s airstrikes earlier today.
Thus far, Hamas seems to have avoided going all-in with PIJ, issuing statements expressing solidarity with those killed while also avoiding clear declarations regarding their intentions to actively join or lead the fight against Israel from Gaza.
The five-year-old girl killed earlier today in one of the IDF’s airstrikes in Gaza against Palestinian Islamic Jihad targets has been identified as Alaa Qaddom, the Gaza health ministry says.
IDF spokesman: This is a targeted campaign against Islamic Jihad; Jabari planned to mow down Israelis
IDF spokesman Ran Kochav tells Channel 12 “we’re in the midst of a targeted campaign against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” confirming reports that the army is trying not to drag Hamas into the ongoing conflict and is hoping to keep the campaign limited in scope.
Kochav references the November 2019 round of violence when the IDF killed senior PIJ commander Baha Abu al-Ata, sparking a three-day military campaign. It managed to keep Hamas out of the fighting then and is hoping to do so once again, Kochav says.
Detailing the context in which the IDF has resorted to the airstrikes, and the deadly targeting of PIJ’s Tayseer Jabari, Kochav says: “Jabari was responsible for the concrete threat in the last three-four days to fire anti-tank missiles and mow down Israeli civilians or soldiers in the Gaza border area.”
Once the IDF’s intelligence was complete and the preparations had been made over the past three days, “we carried out a devastating ambush, that thwarted Jabari and the members of the anti-tank cells, together with others.”
Extraordinary intelligence information enabled a direct strike on the apartment where Jabari was, says Kochav.
In subsequent strikes, “we attacked the manned positions of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, including rocket launch positions, some of which were recently used.”
The IDF is in the process of calling in 25,000 reservists, “to be ready for all eventualities,” he notes.
“We have no desire to prolong the operation, but it has not finished. It will take a long time,” says the IDF spokesman. “There is extraordinary resilience on the home front.”
He says the IDF is deploying various means to try to thwart attacks now from Gaza.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett have wrapped up consultations with senior security officials at the IDF’s Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv.
Opposition parties are split in their reactions to the IDF’s launching of Operation Breaking Dawn targeting Palestinian Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza.
Religious Zionism chairman Bezalel Smotrich offers his full-throttled support for the government, while Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu focuses his support on Israeli security forces. The majority-Arab Joint List, however, blasts the government for the military offensive.
“The Israeli government is committing war crimes against the Palestinian people to serve narrow political interests, and Gazans are paying the price in blood,” says Joint List chair Ayman Odeh. “The fire must cease immediately! Only negotiations to end the occupation will bring security to the people, not the blood of innocent children.”
The calls to end the violence are also coming from within the government, with Meretz MK Mossi Raz mourning the death of the five-year-old Gazan girl the Gaza health ministry said was killed earlier today in an IDF airstrike and urging a ceasefire.
The coalition’s Islamist Ra’am party, which has regularly condemned terror attacks and violence from both sides over the past year, has yet to issue a statement.
The Israel Defense Forces has renewed airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian media reports.
There are reports of another assassination of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad official who was riding a motorcycle in Shejaiya, Gaza.
Meanwhile, the IDF publishes a new video of it striking an Islamic Jihad rocket launcher in the southern Gaza Strip.
According to the IDF, a failed rocket launch occurred from the site.
IDF publishes a video of it striking a PIJ rocket launcher in southern Gaza. pic.twitter.com/8pgn6zKPtO
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) August 5, 2022
The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry raises the death toll from IDF airstrikes strikes from nine to ten.
Fifty-five others have been injured in the strikes, the ministry says.
The IDF said earlier today that 10 to 20 of those killed were terror operatives.
Army launched Gaza operation because PIJ was preparing major attack against Israelis — senior IDF official
A senior military official says Palestinian Islamic Jihad was preparing a major terror attack against Israeli civilians, and therefore it launched Operation Breaking Dawn.
The commander of Islamic Jihad in northern Gaza who was killed in an IDF strike earlier, and many of his fighters, were planning to attack civilians near the border, the official says.
The official adds that the current escalation will likely last several days, but it is focused solely on Islamic Jihad, not Hamas.
The military expects major rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, but offers no indication regarding how deep into Israel.
The IDF has begun to call up reservists to bolster the Southern Command, air defense array, Home Front Command and combat troops in the event of further escalation.
A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council says, “We are monitoring developments in Gaza. We urge all sides for calm. We firmly believe that Israel has the right to protect itself.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz has approved the call-up of up to 25,000 reservists troops, if required, his office says.
The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry raises the death toll from the IDF strikes earlier this afternoon to nine, with 55 wounded others wounded.
The IDF said earlier today that 10 to 20 of those killed were terror operatives.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s office issues a statement tearing into Israel for its airstrikes in Gaza.
“The presidency condemns the Israeli aggression against our people in the Gaza Strip, demands its immediate cessation and holds the occupation forces responsible for this dangerous escalation,” the statement says.
“The president calls on the international community to compel Israel to stop the aggression against our people everywhere, particularly in Gaza, and to provide them with international protection.”
The so-called “Joint Operations Room” of various Palestinian terror factions in the Gaza Strip says Israel bears “full responsibility” for the airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, and they “won’t go unpunished.”
A statement says the terror groups are assessing the situation and the leaders of the factions would jointly decide on a response.
Israel is passing along to UN and Egyptian mediators the message that it is only looking to target Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and not Hamas in an apparent effort to limit the scope of Operation Breaking Dawn, Channel 12 reports.
The Israel Fire and Rescue Services says it is raising its level of alert after the Israeli military launched Operation Breaking Dawn against the Islamic Jihad terror group in the Gaza Strip.
A statement says areas under rocket attack threat in southern Israel will have firemen ready at more locations, in order to respond quickly to incidents.
The so-called “Joint Operations Room” of various Palestinian terror factions in the Gaza Strip says it will publish a statement shortly.
The joint military alliance includes Hamas, Islamic Jihad and several more small terror groups.
The Israel Defense Forces publishes a new video of it striking several Islamic Jihad observation posts in Gaza along the border with Israel.
IDF publishes a new video of strikes in the Gaza Strip pic.twitter.com/SBHYc0ubqH
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) August 5, 2022
The Defense Ministry says it has activated a plan to assist in the evacuation of civilians under rocket attacks.
The ministry’s National Emergency Management Authority — also known by its Hebrew acronym RAHEL — says the plan is ready to go if towns along the border with the Gaza Strip wish to use it.
Residents of such towns would be taken to Defense Ministry-run facilities to host them amid major fighting.
In its first statement since the IDF took out a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander, the Hamas terror group says it mourns the deaths of Tayseer Jabari and the group’s other members killed earlier this afternoon.
Hamas says “the blood of our people and the resistance are not shed in vain.”
Al Arabiya reports that Israel has notified Egyptian mediators that it is seeking only a limited military operation in Gaza after killing a senior PIJ commander along with roughly a dozen other terrorists en route to carrying out sniper attacks against civilians.
Israel is hoping that Operation Breaking Dawn will be similar to Operation Black Belt from November 2019 when the IDF killed senior PIJ commander Baha Abu al-Ata, sparking a three-day military campaign during which 34 Gazans killed were killed. The IDF said the majority were PIJ and Hamas terrorists.
In an Arabic-language video, the military’s liaison to the Palestinians says Islamic Jihad doesn’t care about the consequences of its plans to attack Israel.
“Residents of the Gaza Stip, over the past four days, Islamic Jihad has insisted on mounting a terror attack against Israel, with no regard for the resulting civic and security implications in the Gaza Strip,” says Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian.
“The IDF has struck those who attempted to destabilize the area’s security. We shall not permit the security of Israel to be harmed,” he says.
“The responsibility rests with Hamas. Is it more concerned with helping the residents of Gaza, or with helping dissident organizations?” Alian adds.
Former IDF military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin tells Channel 12 he believes this will prove to be a “lengthy” confrontation.
He anticipates that Islamic Jihad “will respond” by striking at Israel “when they’ve emerged from their shock.”
He urges Israelis to “unite” behind the political and military leadership, who he says has surprised Islamic Jihad with the opening airstrikes and “have hit it hard.”
“The prime minister [Yair Lapid] may not be experienced, but he has a good team, and he and the alternate prime minister [Naftali Bennett] are doing good work… We should put politics aside until this is over,” Yadlin adds.
The funeral procession for the the senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander killed earlier this afternoon in an IDF airstrike is expected to start within the hour.
The IDF is girding for PIJ and possibly other Gaza terror groups to begin their response to the airstrikes once Tayseer Jabari’s funeral concludes.
The leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad vows to hit back at Israel after the opening round of Israeli airstrikes.
PIJ secretary-general Ziad Nakhaleh, who is visiting Iran, says, “We are going into battle. There are no ceasefires after an attack.”
Apparently calling on Hamas and other terror groups to join PIJ in hitting back at Israel, he adds: “This is a test for all parts of the resistance.”
He adds that all Israeli towns, including Tel Aviv, are on the terror group’s radar and should be prepared to be targeted.
Israel has said that it has thus far targeted Islamic Jihad sites only — and that it launched the strikes because Islamic Jihad cells were preparing to fire at Israeli targets.
The Tel Aviv municipality says it is prepared to open public bomb shelters in the event of rocket fire at central Israel.
“The municipality is operating in accordance with the instructions of the Home Front Command, and currently all events are taking place as usual,” it says in a statement.
An unnamed Palestinian Islamic Jihad official tells Arabic media that Egypt has notified the group that it will only begin mediating with Israel to reach a ceasefire on Sunday.
This would mean that the fighting will continue for the next 48 hours, with Israel expecting Gaza terror groups to respond to its widespread airstrikes earlier today.
Israel Police has raised its level of alert after the Israeli military launched a major operation against the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.
A statement says police will bolster forces in areas under rocket threat, and prepare 10 reserve Border Police companies for emergency deployment.
Air traffic in and out of Ben Gurion Airport diverted away from Gaza amid fears of retaliatory rocket fire
Amid fears of rocket fire from Gaza after the Israeli military launched a series of airstrikes against Islamic Jihad targets, air traffic in and out of Israel has been diverted away from the Strip, with planes traveling on flight paths to the north of Ben Gurion International Airport.
The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry updates the death toll from the IDF’s airstrikes throughout the Strip from seven to eight. Among those killed was a five-year-old girl, the ministry says.
The IDF said earlier that it estimates that 10-20 Palestinian terrorists were killed in its strikes.
The Israel Defense Forces publishes a video of an airstrike on an apartment in the Gaza Strip, killing senior Islamic Jihad commander, Tayseer Jabari.
Jabari was the commander of the terror group in northern Gaza. The IDF says he was “advancing plans for anti-tank guided missile attacks against Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers in recent days” along the Gaza border.
In a statement, the IDF adds that 10 PIJ operatives en route to committing an ATGM or sniper attack on the border were struck.
Additionally, several PIJ military sites and buildings were struck, the IDF says.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz issue a joint statement regarding the military’s airstrikes in the Gaza Strip against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group.
“The Israeli government will not allow terrorist organizations to set the agenda in towns near the Gaza Strip and threaten the citizens of Israel,” Lapid says.
“Anyone who seeks to harm Israel must know that we will get to them. Security forces will act against Islamic Jihad terrorists, to remove the threat from the citizens of Israel,” he adds.
“The task is to protect Israeli towns and the citizens of Israel. We will not allow anyone to threaten or harm the citizens of Israel. Whoever tries, will be hit,” Gantz says.
The pair will hold another assessment at the IDF’s headquarters in Tel Aviv at 6:30 p.m., Lapid’s office says.
The Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip says seven people have been killed, including a 5-year-old girl, and 40 others wounded by Israeli airstrikes in the coastal enclave.
The IDF said earlier that it estimates that 10-20 Palestinian terrorists were killed in the airstrikes.
The Israel Defense Forces estimates that between 10-20 Palestinian terrorists have been killed in the Gaza Strip amid the opening wave of airstrikes against the Islamic Jihad.
According to the military, six sites were hit by fighter jets and armed drones.
The IDF confirms striking Tayseer Jabari, commander of Islamic Jihad in northern Gaza, as well as the head of the anti-tank guided missile array, and several squads that it says were preparing attacks on Israeli targets.
Indications of such attacks came before the Monday arrest of Bassem Saadi, the West Bank leader of Islamic Jihad.
The military says it has deployed the Iron Dome air defense system near Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Beersheba.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad confirms the death of senior commander Tayseer Jabari in an Israeli airstrike in northern Gaza.
Jabari replaced Baha Abu al-Ata as commander of Islamic Jihad in northern Gaza, after his assassination by Israel in 2019.
Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked speaks to Channel 12 news.
“We don’t know how this [conflict] will play out… but this could take time… This could be a lengthy round [of conflict] and a hard one.”
She says Islamic Jihad “sought to bring life to a standstill in Gaza-border communities and we were not prepared to allow this to happen.”
The government decided “we are not prepared to be held hostage by a Gaza terror group,” she adds.
She notes that Israel is only targeting Islamic Jihad at this time, as Jerusalem apparently tries to keep the fighting limited to that terror group.
Hebrew media is reporting that the IDF has deployed Iron Dome missile defense batteries in the Beersheba, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas in expectation of rocket attacks.
There is no immediate confirmation from the military.
An unnamed military official tells Ynet the army assesses that at least 15 Islamic Jihad operatives have been killed in the Israeli strikes in Gaza so far.
The Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip says four people have been killed and 19 others wounded by Israeli airstrikes in the coastal enclave.
Palestinian media reports say the IDF struck an apartment in a seven-story building in northern Gaza, and other sites in the Strip.
According to reports, a senior Islamic Jihad commander, Tayseer Jabari, was killed. Jabari reportedly replaced Baha Abu al-Ata as commander of Islamic Jihad in northern Gaza, after his assassination by Israel in 2019.
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An unnamed security source tells the Ynet new site: “Efforts to get Islamic Jihad to climb down” from its intentions to cary out attacks “have been exhausted.”
He says “this is why Israel has initiated an assault against the group” and adds Israel will strive to keep the Hamas terror organization outside the conflict.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz is currently at the Israel Defense Forces headquarters in Tel Aviv, amid airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, his office says.
The Israel Defense Forces has launched what it is calling Operation Dawn in the Gaza Strip, carrying out strikes on as-yet unspecified terror targets in the Strip, to counter what it says is the ongoing imminent threat of an attack by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization.
The military says a “special situation” has been declared on the homefront, as it expects the group to retaliate. Gatherings in areas up to 80 kilometers from Gaza — that means as far north as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv — are restricted, and residents in areas close to the border are instructed to remain close to bomb shelters.
Earlier Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned that Israel would take action if it did not back down from its intentions to carry out attacks against the country in response to the arrest of its West Bank leader.
We will be providing you ongoing coverage of developments on the southern front.
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