Before I take a break, some information concerning the recent flare-up in Gaza. H.R.G.
From Friday until late Sunday night Islamic Jihad fired 1,100 rockets at Israel, 200 of which landed within Gaza.
Of the 990 rockets that made it into Israel, 380 were intercepted by the Iron Dome at a 95% success rate. The other 610 landed in the sea and open spaces.
The Palestinians reported 35 deaths out of which 26 were bystanders.
Of the 26, 11 were killed in Israeli airstrikes, and 15 were killed by Islamic Jihad rockets that failed to clear Gaza. Read more here
At 11:30 p.m. local time on Sunday, an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire went into effect between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad-led militant groups in Gaza, following three days of fighting. Read more here
Background: The operation was launched following four days of tension in Israel’s south, which itself was precipitated by the IDF arresting Bassem Saadi, the leader of PIJ in the West Bank earlier in the week.
After 7 deadly terror attacks resulting in 19 Israeli fatalities between March and April, Israel launched a series of arrests throughout the West Bank.
Much of Israel’s South had been shut down for 4 days with roads closed and train suspended, based on intelligence assessments that PIJ was planning a sniper or anti-tank missile attack.
Former IDF head of intelligence Amos Yadlin explained in Israeli media that unlike the threat of rocket fire, for which Israel has the Iron Dome for protection, and the population drilled, the threat from anti-tank fire could accurately target a bus, train or car and cause numerous fatalities with no warning.
Who are PIJ: Established in the Gaza Strip in the 1980s their aim is the annihilation of the State of Israel by force and the imposition of Islamic law. As their aims conform to Iran’s goals, they receive most of their funding from Tehran, currently estimated to be around £58m a year (down on previous support due to sanctions on Iran) Read more here
At least five Gazans were killed, including four children, and several more injured by an errant Islamic Jihad rocket in Jabalya in Gaza on Saturday.
“We have videos that prove beyond a doubt that this is not an Israeli attack,” the head of Israel’s public diplomacy said.
A video was distributed showing a rocket being launched from Gaza at night and then veering immediately off course into a built-up area.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s spokesperson Keren Hajioff said, “One in four rockets fired from Gaza towards Israel lands inside Gaza.”
An Israeli intelligence official said “we also have solid information from many Palestinians that verifies the fact that the harm to the children in Jabalya was caused by a failed rocket of the Islamic Jihad.” The Israeli military was not operating in the area at the time.
This link shows radar tracking of the barrage of rockets fired by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization in Gaza on Saturday night and shows the site where the rocket landed—a place where Palestinian civilians, including children, were killed by a misfired rocket. View here: view here
This 8 second video shows a rocket fired, rising and then immediately falling, blowing up inside Gaza. View here
A rocket launched by the PIJ on Sunday misfired and landed inside Gaza, almost hitting a Palestinian news crew from the pro-Iranian Lebanese TV channel al-Mayadeen. Read more here
A rocket launched from Gaza struck a home in the Israeli town of Sderot on Saturday. The family was sheltering in the home’s reinforced room at the time and no one was injured. Images showed damage to the interior of the house (the entire kitchen was destroyed) and a hole in the roof where the rocket struck. Read more here
A rocket launched from Gaza landed Sunday evening in a factory in Ashkelon, lightly wounding a Palestinian worker employed there.
Shortly before a negotiated truce was to come into effect on Sunday night, the Islamic Jihad launched 50 rockets at Israel, targeting communities from those close to the border all the way to Tel Aviv. Iron Dome intercepted most of the rockets aimed at the centre of the country. Read more here
Emily Schrader: (the) BBC mentioned the Jabaliya attack within larger articles about the entire operation…reported it as a claim of Israel that’s disputed. The BBC article stated that Israel accused PIJ militants of accidentally causing at least some of those deaths, adding that the BBC has not been able to independently verify this claim.
Interestingly, no such disclaimer is mentioned when it comes to the death toll statistics provided by Gaza terrorist groups (via the Gaza Health Ministry). Why is that Palestinian claims are taken as fact while Israeli claims that are put forth with transparency and even with evidence are cast in a negative, sceptical light? Read more here
Col. Richard Kemp: A week ago U.S. President Joe Biden ordered the elimination of al-Qaeda boss Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul. A few days later Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid ordered the elimination of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commander Tayseer al-Jabari in Gaza. The strike against Jabari and his attack team prevented the deaths of innocent civilians. These were two of a kind: mass killers whose sole purpose was to inflict pain, death and destruction on ordinary decent people to bring about their vision of Islamic conquest.
Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur on the “Occupied Palestinian Territories,” described Israel’s actions as “flagrant aggression” in breach of international law. This is pure fiction. Israel has made it clear that the strikes were to prevent an imminent threat to the Israeli population. It had hard intelligence that PIJ, led by Jabari, was planning attacks across the border from Gaza Protecting its people from violent external attack is not only permitted under international law, it is the duty of every government. Read more here