Netanyahu: We wiped out half of Islamic Jihad’s leadership in one blow

‘Something has changed,’ says the prime minister after Operation Shield and Arrow. “The message has been delivered.”

By World Israel News Staff

Israel’s recent air campaign against the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip restored Israel’s deterrence in the region, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday, comparing the operation to the conflict with Hamas two years ago.

Speaking at a Likud party meeting Monday afternoon, Netanyahu touted Operation Shield and Arrow as a major success and a definitive victory over Islamic Jihad, claiming that the five-day campaign had wiped out half of the terrorist group’s leadership, and restored quiet to southern Israel.

“I came now from Ashkelon. I was at the marina and I met smiling, happy people, who are sitting in the cafes and supporting the government’s determined fight against terrorism,” Netanyahu said.

“Something has changed. We came to change the deterrence equation and not for the first time. The most significant change in the balance of deterrence took place two years ago in Operation Guardian of the Walls,” the prime minister continued, referencing the May 2021 conflict with Hamas.

Netanyahu said that since the operation two years ago, Hamas has avoided engaging in rocket attacks against Israel.

“Since Guardian of the Walls, Hamas has not fired a single rocket into our territory. They are deterred. Operation Guardian of the Walls dealt Hamas the hardest blow in its history and caused a change in the deterrence equation and it has been working for two years now.”

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“Our intention in Operation Shield and Arrow was to change the balance of deterrence against Islamic Jihad as well. The difference comes not only because of the targeted assassinations that we have been doing for the 16 years that I have been prime minister, but that we did so calmly and effectively.”

“We took down half of Islamic Jihad’s leadership in a surprise blow, and the other half during the operation. The message was delivered not only in Gaza, but all around. Whoever harms us or plans to harm us knows the meaning of ‘his blood is on his own head.’ We are changing the balance of deterrence,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu vowed that the annual Jerusalem Day Flag March will “take place as usual” this Thursday, along the traditional route.