Rockets Fly over Israel, Gaza
OVER 1,000 ROCKETS FIRED TOWARD ISRAEL, SIRENS SOUND IN TEL AVIV: Sirens blared in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening, August 6, as Operation Breaking Dawn continued against Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, as more than 350 rockets were launched toward Israel in the first full day of fighting. By the end of Sunday, it is reported that over 1,000 rockets had been launched against Israel.
The IDF said that the Iron Dome missile defense system was proving to be effective and had a reported interception rate of about 95 percent of rockets that it was launched against. The first rockets were fired toward Israel shortly before 9 p.m. on Friday night, August 5, with sirens blaring in southern Israeli communities near the border as well as Sderot, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Yavne. Sirens were also activated in the central Israeli cities of Rishon Lezion, Holon and Bat Yam, but the IDF later said that the sirens were a false alarm. Rocket barrages continued throughout the day on Saturday with sirens also activated in the cities of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Rishon Lezion, Bat Yam, Holon, Modi’in, and multiple others. Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon stated on Saturday afternoon that 20 people have been admitted since the beginning of the operation. According to the hospital, five were admitted for stress and 15 others with light injuries. (JPost / VFI News)
ISLAMIC JIHAD FIRES ROCKETS 8 MINUTES AFTER CEASEFIRE TAKES EFFECT: Rockets were fired toward southern Israel, just minutes after a ceasefire reached between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad took effect on Sunday evening, August 7, amid efforts to end Operation Breaking Dawn after three days.
“If the ceasefire will be violated, the State of Israel reserves the right to respond forcefully,” National Public Diplomacy Directorate Head Lior Haiat said. “We will not let any factor violate the routine life of the residents of the State of Israel.” Israel thanks Egypt for mediating, Haiat said. Palestinian Islamic Jihad said earlier: “We welcome the Egyptian efforts, and we affirm our right to respond to any Israeli aggression.” The Gazan terrorist organization launched a barrage of rockets at southern Israel in the half hour before the ceasefire took effect. (JPost / VFI News)
AFTER NEW GAZA STRIKE, ISRAEL SAYS IT HAS KILLED ALL ISLAMIC JIHAD LEADERS: The IDF confirmed on Saturday night, August 6, that senior Islamic Jihad operative Khaled Mansour had been killed in an Israeli airstrike and that to the best of the military’s knowledge, all senior Islamic Jihad officials in Gaza had been eliminated since Operation Breaking Dawn began on Friday.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad also confirmed Mansour’s death from an IDF airstrike early Sunday morning. Sirens blared in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening as the IDF continued the operation against Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, as more than 350 rockets were launched toward Israel in the first full day of fighting between the two groups, and more than 1000 by the end of Sunday. Head of the Operations Directorate Maj.-Gen. Oded Basiuk confirmed late Saturday night that senior Islamic Jihad operative Khaled Mansour was the target of the strikes and had been eliminated. He added that “according to our intelligence…all of the senior security operatives of Gaza’s Islamic Jihad have been eliminated.” According to reports in Gaza, several civilians were killed including a 5-year-old girl and a 25-year-old woman, and at least 125 more were injured. (JPost / VFI News)
IRAN’S MALIGN HAND BEHIND THE SCENES – ANALYSIS: The pictures coming out of Tehran the last few days went a long way towards explaining events in the South of Israel. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s leader Ziyad al-Nakhalah’s met on Wednesday, August 3, with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabollahian. On Thursday, it was Nakhalah meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. And then on Saturday, after the beginning of Operation Breaking Dawn, a picture was released of him in a tête-à-tête with Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Head Hossein Salami.
Coincidence? Hardly. Iran supports Hamas but it controls Islamic Jihad. There is a difference. To understand the latter terrorist group’s behavior over the past week, it is important to understand Iran’s interests. One need not be a brilliant Mideast strategist to understand them: cause Israel as much hurt as possible. “We are with you on this path until the end – and let Palestine and the Palestinians know that they are not alone,” Salami told Nakhalah during a meeting in Tehran. (JPost / VFI News)
AS ROCKETS RAIN DOWN, MANY VULNERABLE ASHKELON RESIDENTS STILL LACK ADEQUATE SHELTER: On the third day of Operation Breaking Dawn, and as rocket alerts rang out repeatedly, Ashkelon’s streets were largely silent. But in some corners of the city, an underground community emerged in municipal shelters.
Occupants of such shelters who spoke to the media on Sunday, August 7, said they would rather be in their own homes. But they were forced to choose between comfort and safety, being among the roughly 40,000 Ashkelon residents who — despite being just some 10 kilometers (7 miles) from the Gaza Strip’s northern border — still do not have access to adequate shelter from rockets. While several types of shelters provide protection against volleys from Gaza — among them protected rooms within personal apartments, reinforced building stairwells, shared shelters within buildings, and public shelters in neighborhoods — these residents said they do not have appropriate access to any of these options. With only seconds to run for cover once an air raid siren sounds, even the minute it takes to leave an apartment building and run exposed down the street to a shelter may be too long. Sitting in the corner she had claimed at one municipal shelter, Ksenia, 49, said she had already spent two weeks here last May, during Operation Guardians of the Wall. “I have asthma, I was in the ICU with coronavirus,” said the Russian native who declined to share her last name. “I can’t run from the fourth floor to the bottom of the stairwell in seven seconds. Also, we don’t have a proper shelter.” The army also shut Zikim Beach near the Gaza border and began blocking traffic between Ashkelon and Sderot. (TOI / VFI News)
BIDEN WELCOMES GAZA CEASEFIRE, SAYS US PROUD TO BACK LIFE-SAVING IRON DOME: US President Joe Biden welcomes the ceasefire between Israel and the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, which has gone into effect after over three days of fighting.
Biden says the US has been in contact with officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Qatar and Jordan in order to bring a swift end to the fighting, and he thanks Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi along with Qatari Emir Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani for their central roles in the effort. The president also commends Prime Minister Yair Lapid and his government’s “steady leadership throughout the crisis.” As the White House did on the first day of the conflict, Biden expresses his support for Israel’s right to defend itself against “indiscriminate” PIJ rocket fire and adds that the US “is proud of our support for Israel’s Iron-Dome, which intercepted hundreds of rockets and saved countless lives.” Earlier this year, the US approved an additional $500 million in funding for Iron Dome replenishments following the May 2021 Gaza conflict. (TOI / VFI News)
LIZ TRUSS: AS PM, I WOULD CONSIDER MOVING EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM: UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss would consider moving her country’s embassy to Jerusalem if she becomes Prime Minister following next month’s Conservative Party leadership election, she wrote in a letter to Conservative Friends of Israel on Friday, August 5.
“I understand the importance and sensitivity of the location of the British Embassy in Israel,” Truss wrote. “I’ve had many conversations with my good friend Prime Minister Yair Lapid on this topic. Acknowledging that, I will review a move to ensure we are operating on the strongest footing within Israel.” Truss also supported Israel, separately, at the launch of Operation Breaking Dawn on Friday, with the Foreign Office tweeting that she said: “The UK stands by Israel and its right to defend itself. We condemn terrorist groups firing at civilians and violence which has resulted in casualties on both sides. We call for a swift end to the violence.” In the letter to Conservative Friends of Israel, Truss wrote that she “remain[s] committed to standing up to Iranian hostility and their pursuit of nuclear weapons.” (JPost / VFI News)
Stories from VFI News except as noted. The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff