IDF attacks in the Gaza Strip. Right: Attack on the house of the Abu Hadayid family in northern Rafah. Abu Hadayid is an operative in the Jerusalem Brigades’ rocket unit and his house serves as a weapons storehouse (QudsN Facebook page, November 13, 2019, IDF spokesman; November 13, 2019).
Massive rocket fire at Israel from the Gaza Strip continues. Since the beginning of the
events, between 300 and 350 rockets have been fired (as of noon, November 13, 2019).
Most of the rockets were fired at the Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip and at
Israel’s south. According to the IDF spokesman, 90% of the rockets were intercepted by the
Iron Dome aerial defense system. About 60% fell in open areas. The Palestinian Islamic
Jihad (PIJ) is almost the only the terrorist organization firing rockets. The IDF continues
to attack PIJ terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip, including rocket launching squads.
On November 13, 2019, the Palestinian ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported 21
fatalities. An initial and partial examination conducted by the Intelligence and Terrorism
Information Center of the names of ten of the Palestinians killed found that six were
operatives of the PIJ’s military wing; three were operatives of the al-Aqsa Martyrs’
Brigades/Nidal al-Amoudi Brigade (an organization that splintered from Fatah and is
apparently participating in the rocket fire at Israel); and one was a Fatah operative.
In the meantime, mediation efforts are being made by Egypt and Nikolay Mladenov, the UN
envoy to the Middle East. So far the efforts have been unsuccessful. PIJ spokesmen
continue warning Israel that the organization’s response to the killing of its operatives is
not over (Filastin al-Yawm, November 12, 2019). Note: On the night of November 13, 2019, the
PIJ fired a heavy barrage of rockets at Israel’s southern communities. On the morning of
November 14, 2019, the Arab and Israeli media reported that in the wake of Egyptian pressure,
a ceasefire had gone into effect. The Israeli Home Front announced (07:00) that all the regions
with the exception of the communities near the Gaza Strip could resume their routine daily
The key question is if Hamas will join the current round of escalation. The situation is as
On the ground during the second day of the escalation, Hamas (and other
organizations) are still standing on the sidelines of the attack. At the same time,
Hamas does not prevent the PIJ from continuing to fire rockets. The PIJ is waging the
attacks almost alone, with the participation of a few insignificant organizations.
In the realm of rhetoric, Hamas (and other organizations) claims the rocket fire
attacking Israel is being carried out by the joint operations room of all the
organizations, coordinated and in cooperation with their military wings. Hamas
spokesman Fawzi Barhoum claimed Hamas would never leave the PIJ to fight against
Israel by itself (al-Aqsa TV, November 12, 2019). However, Hamas’ rhetoric is in
contradiction with the events on the ground.
The PIJ leadership and spokesmen are trying to represent the front as including all
Palestinians. PIJ spokesman Musab al-Brim said the PIJ is not alone in the current
confrontation, rather, it is a confrontation of the entire Palestinian “resistance” and
therefore includes all the Palestinian groups that support it (Filastin al-Yawm,
November 12, 2019).
In the meantime, Hamas is sending indirect messages of deterrence to Israel by
threatening to join the confrontation. A senior Hamas figure told a Fox News
correspondent who visited the Gaza Strip, that “If air strikes and aggression continue,
Hamas and the resistance [sic] groups will have to morally respond to and protest the
The Rocket Fire against Israel: an Overview
On the afternoon of November 12, 2019 rocket fire into Israel continued. After a relative
pause of about seven hours during the night, the rocket fire resumed on the morning of
November 13, 2019. At around 06:30 a barrage of rockets was fired at the southern cities of
Ashqelon and Ashdod, Sderot and Netivot, and at the Israeli communities near the Gaza
Strip (which have taken the brunt of the rocket fire).
So far between 300 and 350 rockets and mortar shells have been fired at Israel (as of the
afternoon of November 13, 2019). According to the IDF spokesman, 90% of the rockets were
intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system and about 60% fell in open areas (IDF
spokesman, November 13, 2019).
The rockets are being fired by the PIJ’s military wing, which has officially claimed
responsibility for dozens of barrages of rockets targeting the Israeli communities near the
Gaza Strip and a number of Israeli cities. According to the claim, rockets have been fired at
Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Hadera, Ashqelon and Netivot (Note: No rockets have been fired at
Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or Hadera).
According to the Israeli Magen David Adom, its medical teams have treated several dozen
people, most of them suffering from shock. Property was damaged. On November 13, 2019, a
rocket hit a factory in Ashdod, damaging it. Another rocket hit a main water pipeline in the
Israeli Air Force aircraft continue to attack PIJ terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. Most of the
targets were PIJ operatives who were preparing to fire rockets or had fired rockets at
Israel. Israeli Navy vessels attacked PIJ vessels used for training purposes in preparation for
naval attacks. The IDF is operating in the Gaza Strip against PIJ terrorist targets and is careful
not to hit the civilian infrastructure or the infrastructures of Hamas and other terrorist
organizations, so far successfully.
The targets attacked (IDF spokesman, November 13, 2019):
Terrorist operatives preparing to launch rockets and squads that launched rockets at
Israel, and underground launching sites.
Operations rooms, observation posts and training compounds, including a training
compound of the PIJ’s naval force.
An underground weapons storage site, a workshop for long-range rockets, a terrorist