Photo Credit: Magdi Fathi / TPS
Building hit in Gaza during Operation Shield and Arrow. May 9, 2023

Early Tuesday morning (Lag B’Omer) between 2 AM – 2:30 AM, the IDF launched Operation Shield and Arrow (“Magen v’Chetz”) against the leadership of the Islamic Jihad terror organization in Gaza and their infrastructure.

The IDF successfully eliminated three top commanders of Islamic Jihad in Gaza via targeted airstrikes, including those responsible for the rocket attacks from Gaza and terror attacks in Judea and Samaria.


So far, Israel has confirmed around three of their intended senior terrorist targets have been eliminated. In Gaza, they are reporting 12 terrorists killed.

The plan to launch the operation was made by the government after the recent rocket barrage from Gaza, and the timing was designed to catch the enemy off-guard. There was no cabinet meeting before the operation was launched, as the Attorney General/Legal advisor ruled it was not needed, according to Amit Segal. The operation was initially meant to happen on Friday, but was delayed for practical reasons.

Eliminated Islamic Jihad Leaders. May 9, 2023.

Over 40 IAF aircraft were used in the attack against 3 primary targets, in what is being called an opening strike.

Also destroyed were around a dozen rocket and weapon manufacturing facilities.

Messages were also sent to Hamas that they are not the target right now, only Islamic Jihad.

Destroyed home of an Islamic Jihad terrorist leader in Operation Shield and Arrow. May 9, 2023

According to Arab media, the three Islamic Jihad leaders had been in hiding for a while. They were meant to got to Cairo today, for talks about Israel, and went home last night for the first time to say good-bye to their families before travelling.

On the home front, the IDF is preparing for retaliation from Gaza, and ordered bomb shelters opened in southern Israel, and later in the morning, ordered bomb shelters opened in central Israel. Train services in the Gaza envelope district have been suspended, and the IDF has even notified the Gaza envelope communities that the civilian evacuation plan is an option. Schools in the region have been cancelled for today.

Traffic near the Lag b’Omer Celebration at Mt. Meron was curtailed for a short while too.

Some IDF reservists have begun being called up.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir praised Prime Minister Netanyahu for taking the initiative in Gaza, calling it a “good start” and saying it was about time for a policy change in Gaza.

Minister of Finance and member of the Political Security Cabinet Bezalel Smotrich released a statement at the opening of Operation Shield and Arrow: “The citizens of Israel are in good hands and those who harm us should know that they will not clean up. at the right time and timing. Thank you to the IDF and the security forces for the execution and to the Prime Minister and the Israel Defense Forces for the lead. A big hug to the residents of the south and thanks to the citizens of Israel who give their trust even when it is impossible to say everything in real time. The IDF is ready to continue.”

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