The Israel Defense Forces said the vast majority of the projectiles fired from Gaza were launched by Hamas, which rules Gaza, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the second most powerful terror group in the Strip. A smaller number of rockets were fired by other groups in Gaza.
As you read this, the fighting in the Gaza Strip has elevated to such a level that, if nothing changes over the next 72 hours, all out war will be impossible to avoid. Usually Hamas rockets fall in open fields, every once in awhile they hit a building, but not this time. 4 Israelis lay dead at this very moment after a barrage of over 600 rockets have been fired by Hamas in Gaza. But as you are about to see, it is not only Hamas causing the problem. It’s Iran.
Terror state Iran finances and backs a group called the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and that is who is behind this latest outburst. After the IDF took out a high-level Hamas leader, they asked for a cease-fire. But Palestinian Islamic Jihad said nothing doing. Top IDF commanders think that Iran wants Israel to go to war with Hamas over the Gaza Strip, and when they do, Iran will strike. That’s the current thinking at this moment in the Knesset, and it is highly likely that thinking is correct.
Hamas said seeking ceasefire; Palestinian Islamic Jihad warns of all-out war
FROM TIMES OF ISRAEL: Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he ordered the military to continue “massive strikes” against Hamas, which Israel holds responsible for all attacks coming from Gaza. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group on Sunday said that it was preparing to intensify its attacks and threatened the increased violence could lead to an all-out war between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
“The resistance is about to go to a higher level in facing the aggression; a level that could lead to a war,” Palestinian Islamic Jihad spokesperson Mosab Al Braim told the Hamas-affiliated al-Risalah newspaper. Braim warned that the escalation will “hurt the enemy just like it is hurting our people.”
In the rocket attacks on southern Israel on Sunday, an Israeli man was fatally wounded when an anti-tank guided missile slammed into his car as he was driving along the Route 34 highway near the community of Kibbutz Erez, just north of the Gaza border. Hamas claimed responsibility for that attack.
Another Israeli man — Moshe Agadi, 58 — was killed early Sunday when a rocket hit his home in the southern city of Ashkelon, and another 22-year-old Israeli man died of injuries after a rocket blasted into a factory in the city.
הנחיתי הבוקר את צה״ל להמשיך בתקיפות המסיביות נגד גורמי הטרור ברצועת עזה וכן הנחיתי לעבות את הכוחות סביב רצועת עזה בכוחות שריון, ארטילריה וחי״ר.
החמאס נושא באחריות לא רק להתקפות ולפעולות שלו, אלא גם לפעולות של הג’יהאד האיסלאמי והוא משלם על כך מחיר כבד מאוד.
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) May 5, 2019
From Saturday, some 600 rockets and mortar shells were fired from Gaza at Israel, with about two-thirds of the projectiles striking empty fields, according to the IDF. Over 150 projectiles that were heading toward populated areas were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, the army said. Some of longer-range rockets were also fired toward central Israel.
Israel responded by hitting over 260 Gaza targets including those of Hamas, PIJ, and other terror groups. As of Sunday afternoon, at least 14 Palestinians — most of them members of terror groups — were killed in Israeli airstrikes, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry. In addition, at least 80 people were said to have been injured to varying degrees.
One of the Israeli strikes targeted the car of Hamed Hamdan al-Khodari, who was said to be a Hamas field commander connected to the terror group’s leader Yahya Sinwar.
According to the IDF, al-Khodari owned a number of money exchanges in the Gaza Strip and used them to bring large amounts of Iranian cash into the coastal enclave for Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terror groups.
It was hours after the strike on al-Khodari that Hamas indicated it wanted a ceasefire, the senior Israeli sources claimed. The army also targeted dozens of sites connected to terrorist organizations throughout the Strip, including the homes of many terrorist leaders that the military said were used as weapons caches.
In light of the ongoing violence, the Israeli military on Sunday sent an additional tank brigade to the Gaza border and prepared for fighting in the coming days.
The PIJ has said it will disrupt the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest, due to take place in Tel Aviv May 14-18, and released a video threatening the Dimona nuclear facility, Ben Gurion Airport and other sensitive sites in Israel.
Islamic Jihad, unlike Hamas, is a completely owned and operated Iranian subsidiary, Amidror said. “It was established by Iran, financed by Iran, and does what Iran wants it to do.” Iran’s interest, Amidror said, is for Israel to embark on another major operation in Gaza, freeing up Tehran to do what it wants unhindered in Syria. The Iranian idea, he said, is that “Israel will be busy focusing on Gaza and not have enough energy to deal with the building up of an independent war machine in Syria.” source
The exchange of fire followed several weeks of relative calm between Israel and Gaza amid an unofficial armistice, which appeared to be breaking down as terrorists in the Strip stepped up their violent activities along the border in the days preceding the outbreak of fighting. Gaza terror groups said their actions were retaliation for Israel not abiding by the ceasefire agreement by halting the transfer of Qatari money into Gaza — a charge Jerusalem denied, blaming the delay on Qatar and the United Nations.
Efforts by the United Nations and Egypt to broker a ceasefire between Israel and terror groups in the Strip yielded no concrete results as of Sunday afternoon, as neither side appeared interested in returning to the conditions laid out before the outbreak of violence.
On Sunday afternoon, Israel’s security cabinet held a meeting about the fighting in Gaza and later instructed the military to intensify its attacks in the Strip. READ MORE
Israel-Gaza Clashes Escalate Dramatically After 500 Rockets
Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) on Sunday continued to strike Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza in response to more than 600 rockets fired at Israel since Saturday morning. Four Israelis were killed by rocket strikes. Retaliatory strikes in Gaza killed 21 Palestinians including two pregnant women, two babies, and two children, according to Gaza’s ministry of health. An additional 146 Palestinians have been injured.
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