by: Kate Norman
Monday, 8 August 2022 | A cease-fire went into effect last night at 11:30 p.m., ending a weekend of back-and-forth strikes between the Israeli military and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Gaza, according to a statement released by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office.
More than 1,000 rockets were fired toward Israel from Gaza by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted 97% of the rockets fired this weekend, the IDF reported.
The rest of the projectiles fell into open fields, and some even fell short and landed within the Gazan enclave, reportedly killing nine people, including children.
No Israelis were killed during the weekend’s rocket barrage, though Magen David Adom—Israel’s ambulance service—said it transported 47 people to hospitals during the weekend operation, the Times of Israel reported. Three of them were treated for light wounds from rocket shrapnel, while 31 were injured while scrambling to a shelter and another 13 were treated for anxiety.
The cease-fire was brokered by Egypt, as both Israel and the PIJ thanked Egypt in their cease-fire announcements. This was a first, as the Israeli government often does not offer comment on cease-fires after rounds of fighting with terror groups in the Gaza Strip.
“If the cease-fire is violated, the State of Israel maintains the right to respond strongly,” Jerusalem warned in yesterday’s statement by the National Public Diplomacy Directorate. “We will not allow any disruption to the lives of the citizens of the State of Israel.”
However, just eight minutes after the cease-fire went into place, the all-too-familiar rocket alert sirens sounded again in Israeli communities near Gaza, as more rockets were fired.
The Iron Dome intercepted at least two rockets within 20 minutes after the cease-fire, though no damage was reported.
There have been no reports yet of a response by the IDF to the post-cease-fire rockets.
Leading up to the cease-fire, the PIJ launched its final hailstorm of rockets toward Israel, prompting Israeli aircraft to launch their final strikes on terror targets in the enclave, the IDF said in a Twitter post.
Operation Breaking Dawn has been hailed as a success for Israel, as there were no Israeli casualties, very little material damage in Israel, and a quick end to the fighting after taking out several of PIJ’s senior personnel and military sites—a reported 140 PIJ assets struck.
Israel had warned of an impending conflict with the PIJ in Gaza after Israeli security forces had arrested the terror group’s leader in Judea and Samaria, Bassam Saadi, prompting unhinged threats of violence from the group.
At the beginning of the operation on Friday afternoon, the IDF announced it had struck Tayseer Jabari, chief of PIJ’s Northern Gaza division, as well as other PIJ terrorists.
Later that night, the Israeli military struck other PIJ terror sites, including weapons production, storage and launch sites as well as rocket launchers amid back-and-forth fighting.
Friday night and Saturday continued the back-and-forth strikes, as the terrorist rocket launches targeted southern and central Israel, even setting off sirens in the outskirts of Tel Aviv.
On Saturday night, tragedy struck when a rocket fired from Gaza fell short and landed inside the enclave, killing several people, including children. PIJ tried to pin the killing on the IDF, but the Israeli military published evidence that the Gazan civilians were killed by failed projectiles launched within their own territory.
As the back-and-forth continued into the night, the IDF eliminated the chief of PIJ’s Southern Gaza Division, Khaled Mansour, and his deputy, Ziad Madalal.
The action began to decrease on Sunday as the cease-fire drew near, though the rockets continued raining from Gaza, setting off sirens again throughout southern and central Israel—reaching as far as the outskirts of Jerusalem.
And just as it did in last year’s 11-day war with Gaza in which terrorists fired over 4,300 rockets toward Israel, the IDF again took great care this weekend in its return strikes to avoid killing innocent Gazan civilians.
The Israeli military posted two videos over the weekend of two separate strikes it called off because civilians were in the area, one in which the targeted building housing a PIJ commander was surrounded by children.
Now as the clock ticks, the tentative cease-fire seems to be holding. After spending the weekend hunkered in bomb shelters, Israel’s southern residents can finally venture back out into the sunlight—but not too far.
Israeli children in the communities bordering Gaza are supposed to be enjoying summer camp and daycare activities just like kids around the rest of the world. However, those activities are not resuming today, as Israel’s southern regional councils want to ensure that the cease-fire will hold.
Residents in the area were instructed to stay close to bomb shelters until at least 6:00 p.m. local time.
Operation Breaking Dawn broke during a significant time on the Jewish calendar—Tisha B’Av, the Fast of the Ninth of the Hebrew month of Av, the date on which both Temples were destroyed. Several other tragedies befell the Jewish people on this date throughout history.
To mark the somber date, many Jewish people fast and pray. In addition, over 2,000 Jewish people visited the Temple Mount yesterday.
Posted on August 8, 2022
Source: (Bridges for Peace, August 8, 2022)
Photo Credit: Israeli Police/commons.wikimedia.org
Photo License: Wikimedia
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