08 August 2022 ~ 0 Comentarios




Richard Kemp


On 7th August 2022 at 2230 hrs Israel time a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) came into force, mediated by Egypt. In the following 20 minutes the ceasefire was broken by three rocket barrages fired by PIJ, the last at 2350 hrs. Since then until time of writing there has been no further rocket fire into Israel or IDF operations into Gaza.


Between 2100 hrs on 4th August and 2350 hrs on 7th August, PIJ and other terrorist groups fired 1,100 missiles towards Israel. Approximately 990 rockets crossed into Israel and approximately 200 landed in the Gaza Strip. 380 of the rockets that entered Israel were intercepted; most of the remainder landed in open areas and a few (number unknown at time of writing) damaged buildings and vehicles in Israel. The majority of missiles were fired at locations in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip. Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Modi’in and other central Israeli towns were also targeted. The IDF claim approximately 96% success rate for Iron Dome.


The IDF struck 170 PIJ and other targets from the air, land and sea, destroying military posts and compounds, launch pits, weapons storage facilities, rocket launch pits and an attack tunnel. As well as other terrorists, IDF strikes killed Tayseer Jabari, PIJ’s northern commander and Khaled Mansour, PIJ’s southern commander, for the time being decapitating the organisation. These were the most senior PIJ commanders in the Gaza Strip.


For the duration of the conflict the IDF closed the Erez crossing from Israel into Gaza due to potential for PIJ to attack the crossing point endangering IDF soldiers and civilians (as Hamas did during the May 2021 conflict). This left the Gaza power plant out of fuel which could have led to severe humanitarian problems had the conflict continued for longer.


No Israelis were killed by PIJ rockets or other munitions. Three (two IDF soldiers and a civilian) were lightly wounded by a PIJ mortar attack. A number of Israeli civilians were reported injured as a result of running to shelters etc.


The IDF currently estimates the following deaths in Gaza during Operation BREAKING DAWN (all subject to confirmation):

Total killed: 48

PIJ etc fighters killed by IDF: 20

Uninvolved civilians killed by IDF: 7

Individuals killed by PIJ etc rocket misfires: 14

Deaths not yet known/under review: 5-7

Numbers of wounded are not yet known.


Overnight 5/6 August: IDF and Shabak apprehended 19 PIJ suspects in the West Bank.

6 August: A number of civilians including 4 children were reported killed at Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip. Palestinians and media claimed they had been killed by an IDF strike. The IDF confirmed they had not struck the location where the deaths occurred and produced video and radar proof that the deaths were caused by a misfired PIJ rocket that dropped short into the populated area of Jabaliya.


This was undoubtedly a tactical victory for Israel, with severe degradation to PIJ military capability in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank and elimination (for the present) of the cross border anti-tank missile threat. PIJ fired an intensive barrage of missiles in the evening as the cease-fire approached to try to secure some kind of narrative of victory. This had no significant effect but PIJ and other terrorist groups have nevertheless claimed major successes. In reality their only achievement, at some cost to themselves and the population of Gaza, was to disrupt life near the border with many Israelis spending much of the conflict in rocket shelters.

There was little impact across the rest of Israel and only minor disruption to flight patterns into and out of the country. Some visitors to Israel cancelled or postponed their trips although this is not believed to have serious impact. The IDF assess that PIJ will not re-start attacks in the near future.

Hamas did not engage in the conflict. It is likely that they were under pressure from Egypt to keep out, that they did not want further destruction in Gaza to add to the damage caused during the May 2021 conflict, and that they feared civilian unrest due to casualties and hardship. It is also assessed that Hamas were happy to see their PIJ rivals degraded by the IDF.

During the period before the start of Operation BREAKING DAWN, Hamas failed to prevent the severe PIJ anti-tank missile threat to Israel that caused closure of Israeli roads and the railway adjacent to Gaza and led to the IDF pre-emptive strike. Hamas did make an announcement before Operation BREAKING DAWN began that they were unable to control PIJ. It is not known whether this is correct or whether they didn’t want to be seen as an Israeli collaborator.

Unlike in the 2021 conflict there was no significant unrest/violence from the Israeli Arab population and the West Bank remained relatively quiet. Jerusalem was also quiet despite 2,000 Jews attending the Western Wall for Tisha B’av. This may be due to the short duration and also Hamas keeping out. Hamas played a significant role in inciting the Israeli Arab population in 2021.

International media has shown relatively little interest in the conflict, with most attention on Ukraine.

The general perception in Israel is that the conflict was well-handled by the government and this will likely boost the electoral prospects for Lapid and Gantz. Netanyahu (as opposition leader) received security briefings from Lapid and gave an interview supportive of the government’s efforts, saying that in these times there is no government and opposition in Israel, we are all pulling together. The US reportedly did not put pressure on the government to terminate the operation, although they may well have done so had the Jabaliya deaths been caused by the IDF.

This was the first major IDF pre-emptive strike into Gaza. Its tactical success, and the lack of expected overwhelming international condemnation of Israel for such action, might encourage future such operations rather than waiting for Gaza terrorists to initiate conflict. It might also lead the Israeli government to more seriously consider future pre-emptive operations into southern Lebanon. Currently there is concern within the IDF that Hizballah might launch an attack when gas extraction operations in the Karish field near the disputed Israel-Lebanon maritime border begin, scheduled for September.

8 August 2022

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