Israel Surprised the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Yoni Ben Menachem - Fearing an imminent terrorist attack in early August, Israel declared four days of restrictions and a shutdown of the Israeli communities along the Gaza border. On August 5, 2022, Israel seized the initiative and struck a preemptive blow against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad centers and leaders in Gaza. The Breaking Dawn operation aimed to thwart imminent Islamic Jihad terror attacks on Israeli targets using antitank missiles and sniper fire in response to the arrest of senior Islamic Jihad official Bassam al-Saadi in Jenin in the West Bank. In recent days Islamic Jihad had sought to change the rules of the game and create a new linkage equation between the IDF's arrest of its operatives in the West Bank and continued quiet along the Gaza border. The Islamic Jihad leadership sought to create a standoff whereby any harm to its operatives in the West Bank, their arrest, or the endangerment of the lives of security prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli prisons, would spark an escalation at the Gaza border. The Israeli political echelon decided to launch the operation once it was clear that the efforts by Egypt and Hamas to restrain Islamic Jihad had failed. The terror group was at an advanced stage of preparations for attacks along the border. Iran orchestrated everything that happened inside and along the Gaza borders. Ziad al-Nakhalah, the Islamic Jihad leader, visited Tehran's leaders and ran the campaign in coordination with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Israel succeeded in surprising Islamic Jihad using remarkable intelligence and technological capabilities. Israel thwarted the attacks that Islamic Jihad was planning and killed the group's entire military leadership in Gaza. Rehabilitating the IDF's deterrence against Islamic Jihad is very important. The writer, a veteran Arab affairs and diplomatic commentator for Israel Radio and Television, served as Director General and Chief Editor of the Israel Broadcasting Authority.

2022-08-08 00:00:00

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