More Palestinians dead from misfired rockets than from Israeli strikes, army says

Fifteen Gazans were killed by errant Islamic Jihad rockets. 

By Debbie Reiss, World Israel News

More innocent Palestinian lives were lost during the recent operation in Gaza by Palestinian Islamic Jihad rockets that fell short of their targets than by Israeli airstrikes, the military said on Monday, hours after a ceasefire came into effect.

Commander of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit Brig.-Gen. Ran Kochav also told reporters that no infrastructure in Gaza was damaged during Operation Breaking Dawn, which lasted 66 hours.

About 1100 rockets were launched by the Iran-backed Gaza terror group, Islamic Jihad. Two-hundred of them misfired and fell within the coastal enclave, in some cases, killing children. Ninety-seven percent of the projectiles that were headed for civilian areas inside of Israel were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. More than 100 Israeli properties were damaged by rocket fire, but there were no reported casualties.

Gaza’s Hamas-run Ministry of Health reported that 35 people were killed during the operation, 26 of whom were uninvolved in terrorist activities. Of those, 15 were killed by errant Islamic Jihad rockets, the army said.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid told a group of mayors from Gaza envelope communities on Sunday night that Israel had “achieved its goals” in the operation, and there was little benefit to continuing it. An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire was called at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday but was broken minutes by a volley of rockets fired by Islamic Jihad operatives. However, the ceasefire appeared to hold after that.

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Security restrictions on Israeli communities surrounding Gaza were gradually lifted and the Erez humanitarian crossing between Gaza and Israel was reopened on Monday morning.

The IDF assassinated several high-profile Islamic Jihad commanders during the operation and destroyed weapons facilities in the Gaza Strip.

Officials said the operation was launched because Islamic Jihad was planning a deadly attack against Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers by launching an anti-tank guided missile, aimed at killing civilians and soldiers.

“We hit and foiled the chain of command [who attempted to] execute this attack,”  Major General Oded Basiuk told reporters on Saturday. “The entire leadership of the Islamic Jihad’s military wing in Gaza were [hit].”