The Israeli operation, launched Friday at the beginning of the afternoon, would have killed fifteen people in the ranks of Islamic Jihad, according to Tsahal, killing in particular one of the leaders of the group, Tayssir Al-Jabari. The Ministry of Health in Gaza meanwhile reported 10 dead, including a five-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman, as well as 79 injured.
Al Jabari, “in charge of the rocket arsenal within the terrorist group, was the main coordinator between Islamic Jihad and Hamas”, explain it Jerusalem Post. According to the Jewish state, “he was involved in planning large-scale attacks against Israel, including using anti-tank missiles”.
The Israeli army assured that its operation, dubbed Breaking Dawn, was “preventive” and aimed in particular “two anti-tank commandos who were about to hit the Israeli forces”in retaliation for the August 1 arrest of Bassem Saadi, a leader of Islamic Jihad in the West Bank, reports CNN.
On high alert since the arrest, Israel had “blocked the roads around Gaza earlier this week, and sent military reinforcements to the border”, precise Arab News. The IDF had also closed border crossings, forcing thousands of Gazans authorized to work in Israel to stay at home.
No casualties in Israel
Islamic Jihad retaliated in the evening, firing several salvoes of rockets at the Jewish state, while from Tehran, the group’s secretary general, Ziad Al-Nakhala, accused Israel of having “triggered a war”. “The Zionist enemy started this aggression and must expect us to fight relentlessly”he warned.
The armed group claimed to have fired more than 100 rockets – a figure reduced to around 80 by the Israeli army. According The Times of Israelquoting the IDF, “Half fell in Gaza itself and more than 40 crossed the border. Of these, 33 were intercepted by the Israeli missile shield and the others fell in uninhabited areas”. No casualties or destruction were reported.
Later that night, the Jewish state resumed its strikes, “targeting two warehouses used to manufacture rockets, as well as a rocket launch pad and a military installation belonging to Islamic Jihad”, according Ha’aretz. The mutual strikes continued Saturday morning.
This escalation is “the largest military confrontation between the two sides since last year’s 11-day air war in which more than 250 Palestinians and 13 people in Israel were killed”, observe the washington post.
But for El Mundothe calendar is not insignificant. “This renewed tension comes at a very delicate political moment for Israel, with the fall of the coalition one year after its formation in June 2021, and the calling of elections on November 1 next”recalls the Spanish daily. “It is therefore the great oral of Yaïr Lapid as Prime Minister in office”.
Al Jazeera questioned Nour Odeh, a former spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, who also suggests that “the attack could have political motivations”.
“Gaza is traumatized. She hasn’t recovered yet.” of the 2021 war, he writes. “Hamas and Jihad were doing everything possible to maintain calm and give people a chance to breathe. No one wanted an escalation except Lapid”wants “prove that he has enough broad shoulders, despite his lack of military experience”.
The Guardian share this analysispointing out that “Islamic Jihad did not retaliate after the arrest of Saadi, one of the most important leaders of the organization”merely claiming “evidence that [Saadi] had not been ill-treated, the release of several activists and the end of the blockade of Gaza”.
Israeli political analyst Gideon Levy, also interviewed by Al Jazeeragoes in the same direction, ensuring that “bombing Gaza has become a way for Israeli politicians to show their ‘strength’ before the elections”.
“All prime ministers have to prove themselves, especially if they come from the centre-left”he wrote. “But we have a new Prime Minister, and he wants to prove that he is just as macho as his predecessors. But this is a poor excuse to attack Gaza again”.