Islamic Jihad renews rocket launches in response to IDF hit on commander

Over 500 rockets have been fired from Gaza towards Israel since Tuesday morning.

 A building hit during an Israeli strike is seen in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, May 11, 2023. (photo credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)
A building hit during an Israeli strike is seen in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, May 11, 2023.
(photo credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)

After not firing at Israel since 11:55 p.m., rocket launches by the Islamic Jihad in Gaza renewed after the terror group had fired 507 rockets on Israel over the course of Wednesday.

Six mortars were fired towards Kissufim, with two intercepted by the Iron Dome, marking the first response to the IDF’s targeted killing of Islamic Jihad rocket commander Ali Ghali around 1:00 a.m. early Thursday.

Following that IDF attack, along with 158 IDF airstrikes since early Tuesday, there has been relative quiet, but IDF chief spokesman Brig. Gen. Daniel Hagari on Thursday morning would still not commit Israel to a ceasefire, putting the onus on Gaza.

Out of the Islamic Jihad rocket attacks, Hagari said that the IDF had around a 95% Iron Dome shoot-down success rate.

The attack happened in cooperation between the IDF Air Force and the Shin Bet, which helped in locating Ghali who was hiding in an apartment in Khan Younis. Two additional Islamic Jihad terrorists were hiding with him in the apartment and were killed in the attack, according to the IDF.

 Palestinians look for remains of people killed during an Israeli strike in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, May 11, 2023. (credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA) Palestinians look for remains of people killed during an Israeli strike in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, May 11, 2023. (credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)

A central figure

The IDF described Ghali as responsible for aiming and firing rockets into Israel. He took part in the recent attacks during Operation Shield and Arrow, as well as past operations like Guardian of the Walls.

Ghali was a central figure in the organization and involved in its day-to-day management. 

According to Palestinian media reports, at least three senior PIJ commanders were killed in this wave of targeted attacks. Dozens of additional people were injured in the attacks, according to the reports.

The Israeli Air Force attacked multiple targets of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday night.

The Israeli attack began about two hours after the last rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, targeting Kibbutz Sufa in the southern Gaza Strip border area.