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.