Iran's Palestinian allies fire hundreds of rockets at Israel

The number 9 appeared on numerous Palestinian social media profiles late Friday afternoon.

Iran's Palestinian allies fire hundreds of rockets at Israel

The number 9 appeared on numerous Palestinian social media profiles late Friday afternoon. At exactly 9:00 p.m. in the evening, the first alarm sounded in Israel. Since then, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) militia has fired hundreds of rockets from the Gaza Strip at the Jewish state. Loud explosions were heard especially in the south, but also in the south of the coastal city of Tel Aviv.

The Israeli missile defense system Iron Dome intercepted most of the missiles from the Arab enclave in the sky. About half of the short-range rockets landed in the Gaza Strip itself or in open spaces, or fell into the Mediterranean Sea. The central question now is whether the strongest force in Gaza, the radical Islamic Hamas, will intervene in the conflict. Then the situation could quickly escalate into war, with hundreds of rockets also hitting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip preceded the shelling. "Operation Dawn" began on Friday afternoon: air strikes on PIJ positions, during which the leader and several members of the terrorist organization died. Civilians were also killed in the attack. According to Palestinian sources, at least twelve people died, including a five-year-old girl.

According to official information, three people on the Israeli side were slightly injured by shrapnel. According to the Israeli Defense Forces, the PIJ had planned an attack with anti-tank missiles on military and civilian targets in Israel near the border fence. The attack preempted the attack. Israel responded to "specific threats," Prime Minister Yair Lapid said. His country has no interest in a major conflict in the Gaza Strip, but it does not shy away from it either.

The Israeli military targeted the head of the PIJ in the Gaza Strip, Taisir al-Jabari, on Friday. The senior commander was in charge of the terrorist group's missile arsenal and their main liaison with Hamas, the ruling group in Gaza. During last year's Israel-Gaza war, a cell commanded by al-Jabari shot at an Israeli car traveling near the Gaza border. An Israeli was slightly wounded.

The PIJ is the terrorist group in Gaza with the closest ties to Iran. Tehran trains PIJ terrorists, finances the group and supplies them with weapons. The background to the current escalation is a series of attacks in Israel that killed more than twenty people. Some of the attacks were carried out by West Bank members of the PIJ. Israeli security forces have therefore been making arrests in the Palestinian terrorist stronghold Jenin in the West Bank for weeks. Earlier this week, Israel arrested the leader of the PIJ in the West Bank. Reprisals were then feared. However, military experts say that al-Jabari's cell had been planning to attack civilian targets in Israel for some time. Now he should be implemented, which was prevented by the attack.

The PIJ is worse equipped than Hamas, which fired hundreds of rockets at central Israel in May 2021. Israeli experts assume that Hamas currently prefers not to want a major confrontation because it has not yet rebuilt its missile arsenal. If true, the conflict could be over in a few days. Otherwise there is a risk of a dispute lasting several weeks.

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