The Israel Defense Forces assured that the operation against Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip prevented a further escalation

The Israeli Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza Strip, seen from Sderot, Israel May 13, 2023 (REUTERS / Ammar Awad) (AMMAR AWAD /)

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) today announced the successful conclusion of the Operation Shield and Arrow against Palestinian Islamic Jihad (JEEP) in the Gaza Strip and assured that he avoided “a further escalation, perhaps with Hamas.”

“The preparation began on Tuesday of two weeks ago, when Islamic Jihad launched 102 rockets during the day, when the children were coming home from school,” an Israeli military officer said during a video conference with international media, including infobae.

“After that we made a decision: we had to act against Islamic Jihad, otherwise we were going to go into a bigger escalation, maybe with Hamas”, he explained.

These statements come after agreeing last night a trucewith the mediation of Egypt, confirmed by both parties through official statements. This ceasefire put an end to the most violent escalation in the area since August 2022.

The official He said that to carry out the operation the army waited for the best conditions to avoid civilian casualties, something that he described as a “great challenge” because terrorists use civilians, including their families, as “human shields”.

the israeli officer said the operation left 21 Islamic Jihad fighters deadthey 6 high-ranking military chiefs. In Israel, he added, there were two casualties: an 80-year-old Israeli woman and a Palestinian worker living in the Strip who was working in Israel. Total, 32 people were injured in Israel, but only seven from shrapnel, cave-ins or broken glass, while the rest suffered injuries while running for bomb shelters.

The funeral of senior Islamic Jihad commander Eyad Al-Hasani in Gaza City May 13, 2023. (REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)
The funeral of the senior Islamic Jihad commander Eyad Al-Hasani in Gaza City on May 13, 2023. (REUTERS / Mohammed Salem) (MOHAMMED SALEM /)

The officer also gave statistics of the operation. According to IDF data, Palestinian terrorists launched 1,468 rockets and mortars against Israel during the conflict.

Of these, 290that is, one in five, fell into the Gaza Strip.

“Almost 22% of the Jihad launches were missed launches and 3 civilians were killed,” he said. Many rockets fell at border crossings, making it dangerous to open them, he added.

Air defense systems intercepted 430 rockets, what a 95% interception rate of rockets aimed at populated areas.

The military official explained that attacks were carried out against 422 targets of Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. The army detailed that these included eight military sites, 19 command centers, 12 weapons manufacturing centers, 122 rocket launchers, 63 mortar launch sites, 10 rocket and mortar launch squads.

“Commanders control buildings, usually one to three floors,” he said. “This is the way they fight. The commander controls the military leaders. He is in Beirut, letting people suffer,” he said, referring to Ziad NakhaleSecretary General of the Palestinian militia.

“We achieved good results in this operation,” said the officer. “We are not looking for a war, but we know how to protect ourselves if necessary.”

Launch of rockets from Gaza towards Israel (REUTERS / Mohammed Salem)
Launch of rockets from Gaza towards Israel (REUTERS / Mohammed Salem) (MOHAMMED SALEM /)

“We achieved the objectives of the operation in the first seconds of the operation. We kept other targets because they started firing rockets,” added the soldier. “The success of the operation is the way in which we managed to make a preemptive strike and target all the leaders.”

“This demonstrates the capability of the IDF. We want to solve the problem of Gaza, we hope that the operation provide stability and peace of mind for a longer period of time to secure the south,” added the military.

Asked why the Islamic Jihad was the only target, the soldier replied that “because they were planning attacks in the near future.”

“Hamas did not fire at us, so we did not fire at them,” he said.

With the exception of a last exchange of fire around midnight, since the truce agreed yesterday at 22:00 local time (19:00 GMT), the situation has remained relatively stable and the population on both sides of the separation fence has begun to return to routine.

This afternoon, however, air raid alarms went off again in Israeli communities near Gaza. The Army confirmed that it was the launch of a rocket from the enclave towards Israelwhich hit an unpopulated area, but the Strip militias quickly explained that it was an accidental shot caused by a technical problem, and reaffirmed their commitment to the truce.

Netanyahu: “Perfect operation”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Gil Cohen-Magen/ REUTERS)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Gil Cohen-Magen/ REUTERS) (POOL/)

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahustressed today that the five-day operation was “a success” and was a “perfect operation”, and warned that whoever tries to harm Israel “will pay the price”.

“Last night, we successfully concluded five days of fighting against the terrorist organization Islamic Jihad,” Netanyahu said. “The operation was perfect. With complete surprise and continued initiative, we target the entire leadership of Islamic Jihad in Gaza. we destroy 17 Jihad command centerswe eliminated dozens of terrorists, we attacked rocket and missile arsenals, we eliminated anti-tank units,” he said.

“Whoever hurts us or even tries to hurt us will pay the price. Today, Israel’s enemies in Gaza and far beyond Gaza know that even if they try to hide, we can always reach them and we will,” Netanyahu warned.

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