Yesterday the IDF launched Operation Shield and Arrow, directed against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Air strikes assassinated 3 PIJ leaders in Gaza: Khalil Bahitini, who was responsible for launching the rockets into the Gaza Envelope last week; Jehad Ghanam, a long-time operative in the organization; and Tarek Az Aldin, who was responsible for the group’s terrorism activity in the West Bank. The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that a total of 13 people were killed in the Tuesday morning attacks, including four children and four women. One of the dead was a Russian citizen. Russia’s ambassador to Israel called for an end to the violence. The strikes were condemned by Egypt, Jordan, the UAE and the UN representative in Gaza.
All roads near the Gaza border have been closed and communities placed on high alert. Some IDF reserves have been mobilized. Following the initial strikes, the IDF struck military targets in Gaza including rocket manufacturing facilities. More strikes have occurred today, wounding numerous terrorists.
The IDF is currently conducting strikes against PIJ rocket launching infrastructure in Gaza.
The PIJ has threatened to retaliate against Israel. They have not done so as of noon on Wednesday. The country is tense, braced for the retaliation.
Israel has warned Hamas not to get involved in the fight, which is currently directed directed solely against the PIJ. Iran is reportedly pressuring Hamas to join the fight. PM Netanyahu said that “no terrorist is immune” and that any escalation by the PIJ will be “answered with a decisive response.” Defense Minister Gallant warned Israeli citizens to not grow complacent as the threat of rocket fire still looms, and added that IDF forces might soon be called up to additional offensive actions both in Gaza and the West Bank.
Security forces shot and killed two Palestinian terror suspects in an exchange of fire during a raid on the village of Qabatiya near Jenin early today.
An Israeli bus driver who mistakenly drove his bus into a Palestinian neighborhood in east Jerusalem last night was lightly injured from smoke inhalation when his bus was attacked with Molotov Cocktails and stones.
Two Jews, including 1 Israeli, were killed in a terror attack against a 2500 year old synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba, where hundreds of Jews come every year on Lag B’omer (yesterday). The synagogue area was heavily guarded with three rings of security personnel. The terrorist was a naval guard who fist killed another guard and then fired on other security personnel who were protecting the synagogue. Several other visitors and security personnel were injured. There are about 1,000 Jews currently living in Djerba.