Over 940 rockets fired at Israel as Operation Shield and Arrow continues
Israel reportedly walks away from ceasefire negotiations
As Operation Shield and Arrow enters its fourth day, Israel's security situation remains tense.
With continued Israeli airstrikes targeting Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders, and continuing PIJ rocket launches, a ceasefire looks increasingly unlikely.
The Israel Defense Forces released a statement this afternoon that as of 4 p.m., 937 rockets and mortars have been launched from Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip towards Israel since the beginning of Operation Shield and Arrow on Tuesday.
According to the IDF, 761 of those projectiles crossed the border into Israeli territory. 181 projectiles have fallen into the Gaza Strip.
The Iron Dome air defense system has intercepted 296 of the rockets, which represents a 91% interception rate of rockets heading towards populated areas.
The IDF also said it has carried out 254 strikes against PIJ sites in Gaza.
In a statement released this evening, the IDF and the Shin Bet security agency said the current head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad operations in Gaza, Iyad al-Hassani, was killed in an airstrike earlier this afternoon.
IDF confirms striking and killing head of Islamic Jihad's operations, Iyad al-Hassani. He is the sixth senior Islamic Jihad member to have been killed by Israel since Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/8qcQb8fbsA— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) May 12, 2023
“He was involved in all the decisions concerning the rocket fire and rocket barrages carried out by the group toward Israel,” the IDF said.
According to the IDF and Shin Bet, al-Hassani had replaced Khalil Bahtini, who was killed in the airstrike on Tuesday morning.
A PIJ spokesman confirmed the killing shortly after the IDF’s statement.
Military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said Israel is expecting more rocket barrages after the killing of al-Hassani.
“We are continuing as hard as we can in attacking those who are planning to launch rockets at us, while also keeping a strong defense,” he said.
A fresh barrage of rockets started this afternoon after the killing of al-Hasani was announced.
As fighting between Israel and the PIJ continues, Israel’s security officials are concerned that it will be harder for Hamas to stay out of the fighting. The concern is that as Israel inflicts increasing losses on PIJ’s leadership, and attack capabilities, Hamas will feel pressured to enter the fight.
After reports in Hebrew media that Israel had walked away from ceasefire negotiations being carried out by Egypt and Qatar, a senior official told Ynet news that a ceasefire “is not currently on the agenda.”
Israel reportedly left the talks after PIJ launched a fresh wave of rocket barrages Friday morning, including firing rockets towards Jerusalem for the first time in this current conflict. Israel has said that ceasefire discussions are off until PIJ ceases launching rockets.
A government official said Israel was ready to escalate fighting if needed.
The rockets launched towards Jerusalem were apparently larger. The IDF said that while two were intercepted by Iron Dome batteries, a third was intercepted by the David’s Sling air defense system intended for medium-range ballistic, such as those believed to be part of Hezbollah’s stockpile.
This makes only the second real-world interception by the David’s Sling system.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.