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Residents of southern Israel spend the night in shelters amid intermittent Gaza rocket fires – Australian Jewish News

Residents of southern Israel spent the night in air-raid shelters as rockets from the Gaza Strip continued to target Israeli communities near the Palestinian enclave Friday through Saturday.

Rocket sirens could be heard intermittently in cities and towns in southern Israel as Israeli forces continued to carry out airstrikes on the Strip targeting Islamic Jihad weapon sites and firing positions in Palestine.

Sirens were heard near the Palestinian enclaves of Sderot, Kisfim, Nilam, Nahal Oz, Kfar Aza, Nizzamin and Kerem Shalom.

The Israeli Defense Forces have transferred to the Air Force a number of weapons manufacturing facilities operated by the Islamic Jihadist Organization of Palestine (PIJ), including one that produces materials used in rockets launched into Israel and another that develops mortar shells. jets attacked.

An unspecified number of PIJ rocket launch positions were also hit, according to the military. The military posted footage of an attack on a rocket facility and a video of an attack on a PIJ launch position.

Paramedics from Magen David Adom said they took at least five people to hospital for treatment in southern Israel on Friday night.

On Friday night, PIJ terrorists fired relentless rockets into Israeli communities in southern and central Israel. Hours later, the military launched an airstrike on the Strip, beginning Operation Breaking Dawn. This is in response to what the leader said was an ongoing “tangible” threat targeting Israelis. Civilians and soldiers in the Gaza border area.

In a series of attacks during the operation, the military said six sites were hit by fighter jets and armed drones.

Jabari replaced the group’s commander in northern Gaza after Abu al-Ata was assassinated by Israel in 2019. PIJ has confirmed Jabari’s death.

The IDF also targeted the head of an anti-tank guided missile array and several squads preparing to attack. The Army estimated that the first wave of airstrikes killed 10 to 20 of his terrorist operatives.

By nightfall, the Hamas-run Ministry of Health confirmed that at least 15 people, including a five-year-old girl, had been killed and 55 injured.

Friday’s rocket launch began just before 9pm, with sirens blaring in Ashkelon, Ashdod, Sderot, Yavne and other communities in the south. Alarms were also heard in the Tel Aviv suburbs Rishon Lezion, Holon and Bat He Yam.

Several Iron Dome interceptor missiles were seen engaging incoming rockets over southern Israel in several barrages. There were no reports of casualties or damage from rocket collisions.

All rockets launched appeared to have landed in open areas or were intercepted by the Iron Dome, according to local officials.

By 10pm, PIJ claimed to have launched about 100 rockets over Israel. About 80 people were laid off during that time, according to the IDF. In the Gaza Strip, nearly half were missing. Over 40 crossed the border, 33 of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome. The rest fell into the open but were not injured.

A ball of fire and smoke rises during an Israeli air strike on Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip on August 5, 2022. Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90

Israeli Defense Forces spokesman Ran Kochab said early on Friday that “Jabari has fired anti-tank missiles and mowed down Israeli civilians or soldiers in the Gaza border area.” was responsible for the threat,” he said.

After the IDF’s intelligence gathering was completed and ready over the past three days, Kochav added, “We carried out a devastating ambush and stopped Jabari and members of the anti-tank cell along with others.” .

Israeli leaders said action was needed after the group refused to back down from intent to carry out the attack. It sparked days of road closures and community blockades in areas near the border to step up calls for Israel to release arrested West Bank commander Bassem Saadi. imminent threat.

Hebrew media reports said Egypt had been trying to mediate between the two sides in recent days, but was unable to persuade the PIJ to back down.

Israeli officials say the Gaza campaign specifically targets the PIJ, and has categorized Hamas into the conflict, as it did during flare-ups after the killing of former PIJ leader Baha Abu al-Ata in 2019. He said he wanted to keep away from

As of Friday night, Hamas did indeed appear to be out of the fight for the time being. He didn’t even participate in the first rocket attack.

In a statement to the media at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv shortly after the rocket barrage began, Prime Minister Yair Lapid said the campaign would “take as long as necessary”, adding: “This government will stand up against any attempt. We have a zero-tolerance policy,” he said. All kinds of attacks from Gaza to Israeli territory. ”

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“The directives the security forces received from us were clear: Israel will not stand by when someone seeks to harm civilians,” he said. “Terrorist organizations do not set an agenda in the areas bordering Gaza. We do not tolerate any threats to civilians.”

Mr Rapid said: Israel has no interest in the wider conflict in Gaza, but neither does it avoid it. ”

“Islamic Jihad is Iran’s agent trying to destroy the State of Israel and kill innocent Israelis. As we speak, the Islamic Jihad leader is in Tehran.”

After Rapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz stressed that Israel was not targeting Gaza in general or ordinary Gazans, but “people who are responsible for the aggravation”. He stressed that Islamic Jihad is responsible for the damage to Gaza’s security and economy.

“We will destroy those who threaten us,” he warned.

On Friday night, Gantz held a phone call with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to update him on the efforts of the Israel Defense Forces. The US has said it supports Israel’s right to defend itself while calling for calm.

The military said it had deployed Iron Dome air defense systems near Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Beersheba as it expected retaliation from Islamic Jihad in the form of rocket attacks. The military said a “special situation” had been declared on the mainland, up to 80 kilometers from Gaza. North to Tel Aviv. Residents in areas near the border were instructed to stay near air-raid shelters, and gatherings were restricted in Lachish and central Negev regions.

Public air raid shelters have been opened in Tel Aviv and the southern city of Beersheba as directed by the IDF’s Home Front Command.

Meanwhile, the IDF began calling in reservists to strengthen its Southern Command, Internal Front Command, air defenses, and combat units in case of further escalation. His office said it had authorized the military to be called in.

Rapid, Gantz, Deputy Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and top security officials held security talks Friday night to determine Israel’s next steps.

Tensions rose around Gaza after the arrest of Bassam Saadi in Jenin on Monday night. Since then, fearing imminent revengeful anti-tank guided missile and sniper attacks by Islamic Jihad, the military has stepped up and closed routes along the border. Locked down.

Before the campaign began, Gantz said that while Israel was “acting with restraint” in response to border threats, it would use “force” to restore civilian life in southern Israel to “perfect normalcy.” He said he would take action.

Over the past few days, as armed drones flew over the Strip, the Israeli Defense Forces worked to thwart attempted attacks on the border by Islamic Jihad forces.

Saadi, 61, has been imprisoned and released seven times over the years by Israel, according to Shin Bet. Shinbet said that in recent months, Saadi “worked even harder to restore activity in the PIJ and was behind the creation of a significant military force for the organization.” [the northern West Bank] In general, especially in Jenin.

“His presence was a key factor in the radicalization of the organization’s operatives on the ground,” Shinbet added.

Jenin is widely viewed as a hotbed of terrorist activity. The gunmen and other attackers behind several deadly terrorist attacks earlier this year have come from the city and its refugee camps.

Age of Israel

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Residents of southern Israel spend the night in shelters amid intermittent Gaza rocket fires – Australian Jewish News

Source link Residents of southern Israel spend the night in shelters amid intermittent Gaza rocket fires – Australian Jewish News

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