ISRAELI-GAZA BORDER - Late Sunday night, a truce between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad ended three days of fighting. It began when Israel carried out a preemptive strike against one of Gaza’s strongest terror groups that also sent a message to its sponsor, Iran.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid met with defense officials marking the end of Operation Breaking Dawn.
The action started late Friday afternoon.
“It began when we received clear, certifiable intelligence that a mobile terrorism unit was moving towards the border with Israel, with large anti-tank missiles,” said Maj. Doron Spielman, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Field Spokesman.
“They were going to be fired at residential cars, possibly school busses, heading down one of Israel’s major roads. We were successful in eliminating that threat before they could carry out the terror attack,” Spielman told CBN News in an interview along the Gaza border.
Israel’s targeted strikes also killed the military head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in northern Gaza and hit other selected terror sites.
The terrorists responded by firing hundreds of rockets from Gaza civilian areas into Israeli communities near the border, all the way up the coast to Tel Aviv and to the area just outside Jerusalem.
On this Facebook Live video, CBN News Chris Mitchell recounts how the CBN News team watched the Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepting seven rockets. “There you see another one going up right now. This is the Iron Dome, there’s two going off. You can see that going off, streaking in the sky," he reported.
According to the IDF spokesman, the Iron Dome had a 97% success rate.
Nearly two hundred of the rockets fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad landed within Gaza, causing a number of injuries and deaths.
On the Israeli side, most communities have bomb shelters, such as the twenty provided by CBN Israel in strategic locations, like the one in the community of Yesha, just 4 miles from the Gaza border.
Galit Kadosh, who lives in Yesha, said she is very thankful to CBN Israel for the shelter.
“Lots of times, we have many surprises. You’re not prepared, like you’re on the way to some place. And we have this [bomb shelter] on the way. It calms the children and gives them security to go to the tennis court and play a little,” Galit told CBN News during an interview at her home.
Although the front lines of the conflict took place along the Gaza border, behind the scenes one of the main actors was the Islamic Republic of Iran.
“Iran is kind of the backyard of all of these organizations. They train them. Educate them. Sponsor them. So, Iran plays a very, very important and critical role in our region for many, many years by these proxies and the Jihad is one of the main radical Iranian proxies in our region,” Ret. Israel Air Force Brig.-Gen. Zvika Haimovich told a briefing of journalists organized by Media Central.
“The Jihad without the Iranian support they are really non-relevant,” Haimovich said.
During the three days of fighting, the civilian head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad was meeting with Iranian leaders in Tehran.
After Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is the second most powerful group in Gaza. The US, UK and a number of other nations have designated it as a terror organization.
“Their very mantle, if you read their charter, it says that they cannot allow the existence of the State of Israel. That’s what they are trying to do,” Spielman said.
Hamas shares the same goal as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad but at least this time, Hamas chose to stay out of the conflict.
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