Islamic Jihad Fires Dozens of Rockets in Israel-Gaza Violence

  • Islamic Jihad attempted to plant bombs on the Gaza border fence and were stopped.
  • Israel retrieved the body of the dead Islamic Jihad soldier.
  • Islamic Jihad shot rockets and the IDF responded in Damascus and Gaza.

More border clashes have broken out in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). The group fired over eighty rockets on Israel in two days, Sunday and Monday. The Iron Dome defense system successfully intercepted 90% of these missiles. In response, the IDF struck Islamic Jihad terror targets near Damascus, Syria, and the group’s headquarters in Khan Younis.

More than 20 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip on Sunday.

Late Sunday night, Israel bombed Islamic Jihad sites in Syria killing two Islamic Jihad members and four Iranian fighters. The Israeli attack on Damascus came after Islamic Jihad had fired 20 rockets from Gaza, in response to the shooting of one of its members who was laying an explosive device near the Gaza border fence. Afterward, Israel used a bulldozer to gather up the body of the Islamic Jihad member. This provoked anger among Palestinians.

The fighting continued throughout Monday, until late Monday night. Even after the declaration of a ceasefire, Islamic Jihad continued bombing Israel. The Al Quds brigade announced that it had completed its military response to the assassination crimes in Khan Younis and Damascus, and that they will continue to respond to the aggression of Israeli occupation of its land.

Following the continued rocket attacks from Gaza, Israel imposed a fresh new host of sanctions, including closure of all border crossings and prohibition of fishing in its waters. The Kerem Shalom crossing will be closed, except for the transport of humanitarian aid. The Erez crossing will also be closed, except only for humanitarian aid.

The IDF Air Force struck Islamic Jihad targets in response to the rocket fire, eliminating a site which was used to launch rockets from Gaza.  Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu, in the middle of the conflict, warned Islamic Jihad and Hamas that if they would not stop he would target Hamas directly. 

An Israeli military bulldozer enters the Gaza buffer zone to retrieve the body of a suspected terrorist on February 23, 2020.

He also threatened Hamas with an all-out war, which they have refrained from in the past because of the possibility of bringing the two parties together in a five-year ceasefire and peace plan being negotiated in Egypt. In the attempt to bring quiet to Southern Israel, Israel lifted almost all sanctions on the Gazans, even to allow workers to come into Israel.

There has been occasional rocket fire over the past few weeks after which Israel retaliated without resulting in a further conflict. Hamas and Fatah are against the Deal of the Century presented by U.S. President Donald Trump, which also calls for disarmament of Gaza.

This last conflict is an indication that Trump’s two-state solution will not be accepted easily by the Arabs without opposition. Netanyahu is preparing for new elections with the intention of carrying ahead the parts of the Deal of the Century, calling for annexation and disarmament of Hamas in Gaza.

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David Wexelman

Author of 5 books on the internet on topics of Jewish mysticism, managing two websites.

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