After 48 hours of violence, in which at least three Palestinian militiamen died, Islamic Jihad announced the final his “military response” to Israel. The Al Quds Brigades, armed arm of this Palestinian group close to Iran, issued a statement announcing “the end of the military response to the killings in Khan Yunis (Gaza) and Damascus (Syria).”
The nth escalation of tension in the Strip broke out in the absence of a week for the celebration of what will be the third legislative elections of Israel in less than a year. The Army killed a militiaman on Sunday near the separation gate when he was about to place explosives. A video showed how after a bulldozer dragged his body to be retained, a usual technique used by both sides in this conflict and then use the bodies as currency in future negotiations.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohamed Shtayyeh condemned the “murder” of this Islamic Jihad member and denounced that his remains were “mistreated” by Israel. The images lit the mood in the streets and on social networks.
Thus began 48 hours of fighting in which the Al Quds Brigades launched more than 60 rockets, the majority intercepted by the defense shield, and Israel attacked targets related to this group both in the Strip and on the outskirts of Damascus, in a weapons factory, according to the Army. As a result of these operations, Defense Minister Naftali Bennet reported the death of “at least six terrorists” in Gaza and Syria and said that “we have also made progress to tackle the source of the problem” as it finalizes the details of “A plan to completely change the situation of the Strip”. Islamic Jihad admitted the death of two of his men in Syria, aged 23 and 24 respectively.
Hamas, a group that has controlled Gaza for more than a decade, was once again left out of hostilities, as happened in November when Israel killed one of Jihad’s military commanders, Bahaa Abu Al Ata. This selective murder, to which Jihad responded with the 400 rocket launch, caused the rupture of the unity of action between the two groups that have led the armed resistance in the Strip since 2008. A precedent that has been repeated this week in which the Al Quds Brigades have fought without the support of the Brigades Ezzeldin Al Qassam, Hamas armed arm.
Rocket rain forced Israel to take preventive measures. The sirens did not stop ringing, schools were closed in areas near Gaza, the railway connection between the cities of Asquelón and Beersheva was suspended, several southern roads and all accesses to the Strip were closed, where the fishing area was also limited.
The United Nations envoy for the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, closely followed the evolution of events that “have shown us once again how fragile the situation is in Gaza, ”he told the members of the Security Council during the monthly meeting to discuss the Israeli Palestinian conflict.