Israel launched Operation Dawn on Friday against the Islamic Jihad terrorist group in the Gaza Strip. In response, more than 100 rockets were fired from Gaza into the country.
By Saturday morning, August 6, relations between Israel and the Gaza Strip remain tense after the Israeli army (IDF) conducted an operation against the Islamic Jihad terrorist group banned in Russia and eliminated the commander of the northern brigades of the military wing of the “Islamic Jihad” Tayseera al-Jabari.
The Health Ministry of the Palestinian enclave in Gaza has reported more than 50 casualties in the airstrikes. In response, about 160 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza, 95% of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, many rockets did not reach the target. No casualties reported.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid said he did not intend to delay the operation. The current escalation between Israel and Gaza has become the largest since the 11-day conflict in May 2021.
How is the operation of the Israeli army in Gaza
On Friday afternoon, the press service of the Israeli army announced the conduct of Operation Dawn. against the Islamic Jihad group. The military declared a state of emergency in the 80-kilometer zone around the Gaza Strip. Aircraft launched strikes on the enclave, as a result of which al-Jabari was killed. The health ministry of the enclave reported ten dead, including a five-year-old girl, and more than 55 wounded.
The Israeli army reported 15 terrorists killed. “According to our estimate, about 15 terrorists were killed. Islamic Jihad Commander Killed in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Destroyed two detachments with anti-tank weapons, which intended to carry out the attack, — said an army spokesman.
By Saturday morning, the IDF reported that it had hit Islamic Jihad targets with at least 30 strikes in the Gaza Strip, resulting in the destruction of about 40 targets, including five rocket launchers, six weapons manufacturing enterprises, two or three weapons depots and six observation posts, Newsru.co.il reported.
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Yair Lapid later tweeted that Operation Dawn aims to “eliminate a specific threat to the citizens of Israel.” The country's government will not allow terrorist organizations to threaten the citizens of the state, he stressed. “Let everyone who dares to bring evil to Israel know that we will get to him,” — the prime minister said.
In turn, the official representative of the ruling Palestinian movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Hazem Kasem, accused Israel of an act of aggression and said that he must “pay the price.” Islamic Jihad leader Ziyad al-Nahkhala, who is on a visit to Tehran, appeared on the air of the Lebanese TV channel Al-Mayadeen and said that there would be no truce after Israeli airstrikes. “There are no red lines in this battle” hellip; Tel Aviv will also become one of the targets of resistance missiles, like all Zionist cities, — he said.
Israel announced an increase in the level of readiness of police units throughout the country, and the Prime Minister's office announced the holding of a military meeting. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz signed an order to call up up to 25,000 troops from the reserve for “operational purposes.” The country's army continued to strike at Gaza, and also involved special forces and artillery during the operation. According to the military, by Saturday night they managed to destroy the site for launching missiles of the “Islamic Jihad” in Khan Younis and disable a missile launcher. Israel also announced attacks on warehouses and workshops for the production of weapons, firing positions of the group.
Lapid made a televised address to the population, in which he stated that the operation would last several days. “Israel is not interested in prolonged hostilities in the Gaza Strip, but is not afraid of them. I rely on the Israeli society and I am sure that it will give broad support to the security forces. We will act as long as it takes,»— he added.
Massive rocket fire on Israel
On Friday evening, Gaza launched rocket attacks on Israel. Air raid sirens went off in the country's border regions with the enclave, including the large city of Ashkelon. By midnight, about 118 rockets had been fired at Israel, the Israeli army said. According to the military, 11 rockets did not reach Israel and landed in Gaza. The remaining missiles were either intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system or fell in open areas. It was also reported about one rocket that fell in the area under construction in the city of Sderot. This area is not inhabited, the shell only damaged the fence.
There were no dead or wounded as a result of the shelling. However, The Times of Israel reported four people who suffered minor injuries after falling while running towards an air raid shelter in Ashkelon. Another person received psychological help. None of them required hospitalization. Hospitals in the border areas transferred patients in serious condition to more protected premises during the shelling.
Air raid sirens went off again early Saturday morning in the cities of Sderot, Nir Am, Nahal Oz, Kfar Aza, Nitsamyn and Kerem Shalom. There were no reports of missile strikes or casualties. The Israeli Interior Ministry has closed beaches in several cities, including Ashdod and Ashkelon.
Reaction from the international community
On Friday evening, the Israeli Defense Minister discussed with his American counterpart Lloyd Austin the conduct of Operation Dawn. by phone. US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides said that the state has the right to self-defense. “The United States firmly believes that Israel has the right to defend itself. We maintain contacts with various parties and call on all parties to calm,— he wrote on Twitter.
UN Special Representative for the Middle East Settlement Thor Vennesland said that he was deeply alarmed by the aggravation between Israel and Gaza, placed responsibility on the parties to the conflict and urged them to avoid further escalation. “The UN is fully cooperating with all stakeholders in an attempt to avoid further conflict, which will have devastating consequences, mainly for the civilian population,” — he said.
Daily News Egypt, citing high-ranking Egyptian officials, said that Cairo is conducting “intense negotiations”; with the parties to the conflict and calls on them to exercise restraint. Also during the contacts, the country asked Israel to immediately stop the attacks on Gaza. Qatar, Turkey and Jordan condemned Israel's actions.