Israel / Middle East, Updates

Tish’a B’Av 2022 Update

The Gaza Attacks
Once again Israel has been under attack from those who oppose her statehood. From the start of the attacks on Friday, August 05, 2022 until Sunday evening, August 7, 2022, an estimated 950 rockets rained down upon Israel from the Gaza Strip, with approximately 350 of the PIJ rockets making it into Israel and another 100 falling inside Gaza. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) claimed responsibility for firing the rockets, and announced that “this is an open campaign and not limited only to the Gaza Strip.”

Israelis headed to bomb shelters in southern Israel as hundreds of rockets were fired Friday evening from the strip, targeting civilian centers as the Code Red Sirens sounded in communities near the border with Gaza. Air raid sirens were sounded in southern Tel Aviv, Lod, Rishon Letzion, Bat Yam, Beer Yaakov, Ramle, Holon, and a number of towns in the western Negev near the Gaza frontier, including Netivot. On Saturday, a rocket hit a factory in a town close to the border and another struck a home in Sderot.

The Israeli Response
On Friday afternoon the Israeli military banned large gatherings in communities within 80 kilometers of the Gaza frontier and told residents in the area to stay near bomb shelters. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) responded to the rockets with “a targeted campaign against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad” during which three of the PIJ leaders were killed: Bilal Nimr Abu Amsha, Khaled Mansour, and Taysir Al-Jabari, as were commanders Khalil al-Bahtini and Abdullah Kadoum. Additionally, the IDF responded with dozens of strikes across the Gaza Strip striking several PIJ military sites and buildings, including eleven strikes on rocket launch sites.

The Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon treated over 20 people amid the rocket attacks on southern Israel, including 15 people who were lightly hurt after falling over while running to bomb shelters, and a further five people for anxiety.

The Cease Fire
Egyptian intelligence officials, who helped broker the truce, said it would begin at 11:30 p.m. local time. About 30 minutes before the start of the truce, the Prime Minister’s Office issued an official statement formally accepting it. “The Public Diplomacy Directorate at the PMO said that Israel would abide by the truce and thanks Egypt for its efforts” in brokering it. It further noted that “if the other side breaches it, the State of Israel reserves the right to respond forcefully,” adding that “we would not let anyone disrupt the daily lives of Israeli residents.”

Just moments before the truce was set to take effect, a massive barrage of rockets was fired on Israeli communities in the south, including Beersheba. Another wave of rocket attacks towards Sderot, Ashkelon, and other communities in southern Israel took place just after an Egyptian brokered cease fire was declared.

The Good News
While Israel fasted and mourned the destruction of the Temple, an estimated 1,800-2,000 Jews ascended to the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av, waving an Israeli flag and prostrating themselves. Even the police could not remain apathetic, reading from Lamentations at the entrance to the Temple Mount.

Several Muslim visitors were detained and removed for “disturbing the peace, being provocative, making inciteful remarks and unsuccessfully trying to disrupt the legal movement of visitors,” according to the police.