Operation Shield & Arrow: Senior Islamic Jihad commanders in Gaza killed

The IDF’s Home Front Command has placed all communities within 40 km of Gaza under strict security restrictions.



The IDF assassinated a number of senior officials in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist movement in airstrikes in the Gaza Strip early Tuesday morning, including the commander of the al-Quds Brigades in the northern Gaza Strip, an official responsible for terrorist activities in the West Bank and a military secretary in the movement.


IAF surgical air-strike sets penthouse ablaze in Gaza. May 9, 2023 – Photo: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS


At least nine Palestinians were killed in the strikes, according to Palestinian reports, with a number of sites in Gaza City and Khan Yunis targeted, among other locations.


The officials assassinated in the strikes include Khalil Bahitini, the commander of the al-Quds Brigades in the northern Gaza Strip, Tareq Ezzaldin, a spokesperson for the movement who also manages terrorist activities in the West Bank and Gaza, and Jihad Ghannem, secretary of the movement’s military council.

Schools and roads closed, shelters opened in southern Israel

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant declared a special situation in the home front, issuing a series of restrictions on communities in southern Israel.

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced the closure of the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel after the strikes began.

The Home Front Command has directed residents of communities in southern Israel to stay near shelters and banned any gatherings in open places of over 10 people and in closed buildings of over 100 people. All schools in communities in the Lachish region, in communities near the Gaza border and in the western and central Negev will be closed on Tuesday as well.

Bomb shelters have been opened in a number of towns in cities in southern Israel in light of the situation, including Ashkelon and Beersheba. Roads in southern Israel near the Gaza Strip have been closed to civilian traffic.

Strikes come less than a week after heavy rocket fire

The strikes come less than a week after over 100 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel after the death of PIJ official Khader Adnan, who had been on hunger strike for over 80 days while under Israeli custody.

Since the rocket fire last week, the Otzma Yehudit party has demanded a stronger response to the violence from Gaza, boycotting votes and government meetings until such a response was carried out. After the strikes began on Tuesday morning, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, the head of the party, published a tweet reading “It’s about time!”

Last August, the IDF launched Operation Breaking Dawn against the Gaza Strip after the PIJ issued threats against Israel after the arrest of an official in the movement in the West Bank. A number of high-ranking officials in the PIJ were assassinated in the operation and over 1,000 rockets were fired toward Israel.


This is a developing story.

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