President Joe Biden has praised Israel for defending its people and saving “countless lives” during three days of tit-for-tat strikes, which left the leadership of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) decimated and dozens of Palestinians dead. At 11:30pm on Sunday, a fragile truce was in effect for Gaza.
“My support for Israel’s security is long-standing and unwavering — including its right to defend itself against attacks,”The statement was made by the US President on Sunday Night, indicating that the ceasefire appears to have held despite an early start.
Minutes after the truce was put into effect, several rockets were fired from Gaza. They were intercepted and stopped by Israeli defenses. No one claimed responsibility and the IDF did not respond.
“Over these recent days, Israel has defended its people from indiscriminate rocket attacks launched by the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the United States is proud of our support for Israel’s Iron-Dome, which intercepted hundreds of rockets and saved countless lives,” Biden added.
Biden also called on a “timely and thorough investigation”Gazan civilian casualties which he called “a” “tragedy, whether by Israeli strikes against Islamic Jihad positions or the dozens of Islamic Jihad rockets that reportedly fell inside Gaza.”
Palestinian officials say that at least 41 people have been killed in Gaza since Friday – among them six children – while more than 265 have been wounded. At least 9 of the deaths were attributed to Israel, with IDF blaming a Palestinian rocket for not being launched.
The flare-up of tensions began last Monday, after Israel arrested Islamic Jihad’s West Bank leader, Bassem Saadi, with a Palestinian teenager killed during the raid. The PIJ threatened retaliation, placing its fighters on alert in Gaza amid a ruckus from Palestinians.
Operation Breaking Dawn launched Friday by the IDF, inciting the “imminent threat of attack against Israeli civilians posed by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.”Taysir al Jabari, a top PIJ commander was shot dead in one of the initial strikes. “essentially, all of the senior officials of Gaza’s Islamic Jihad have been eliminated,”According to the Israeli army.
According to IDF updates, PIJ militants launched a torrent of rockets against Israel in the interim. There were over 580 total. Israel claims that 97% of projectiles were stopped mid-air when the Iron Dome missile defence systems intercepted them. “120+ rockets landed in Gaza and killed innocent Palestinians.”Reports of no casualties from the Israeli side indicate that there have been none.
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