After the announcement of the launch of Operation Breaking Dawn, Prime Minister Yair Lapid said on Friday that Israel "will not allow terrorist organizations to dictate the agenda" after days of soaring tensions with Gaza-based Islamic Jihad have boiled over.
"The IDF struck Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip a short while ago. This is an action aimed at removing a tangible threat on the citizens of the State of Israel and Gaza border communities, and harming terrorists and their sponsors," Lapid said in a joint statement with Defense Minister Benny Gantz shortly after the Israeli air raid.
"The Israeli government will not allow terrorist organizations to dictate the agenda around the Gaza Strip and threaten Israeli citizens. Let anyone who rises up to harm Israel know that we will get them. Our security forces will act against Islamic Jihad terrorists to remove the threat from the citizens of Israel."
Lapid, Gantz and Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett convened a two-hour meeting Friday morning in which they agreed unanimously to launch a proactive attack against Islamic Jihad after four days of high alert along the border following the arrest of the group's leader in the West Bank by Israel.
The operation's opening overture saw Israeli fighter jets carry out a series of attacks on targets linked to Islamic Jihad throughout the Gaza Strip.
Tayseer Jabari, the commander of the terror group in northern Gaza, was killed in one of the attacks. Jabari is considered the successor of Bahaa Abu al-Atta, a powerful commander whose November 2019 assassination sparked Operation Black Belt between Israel and Islamic Jihad.
Hamas did not take part in the fighting in that round.
Meanwhile, Israeli authorities are bracing for rocket fire into central Israel and Home Front Command restricted gatherings up to 80 kilometers from the Gaza border.