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15 Jan 2020 | 03:38 PM UTC

Israel/Palestinian Terr.: Israeli airstrikes target Gaza January 15

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carry out retaliatory airstrikes in Gaza on January 15; further cross-border attacks possible over the near term

security
ISR

Event

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) aircraft carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, January 15, in retaliation for a rocket attack earlier in the day targeting Israeli communities close to the Israeli-Gazan border. Two of the rockets were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome air defense system and two more struck uninhabited areas. According to the IDF, its warplanes responded by striking a Hamas weapons manufacturing facility and an armed compound in the northern Gaza Strip. No casualties were immediately reported on either side.

Further cross-border fire is possible along the Israeli-Gazan border over the coming hours and days, including rockets fired by Palestinian militants toward and into Israel and retaliatory IDF strikes on the Gaza Strip.

Context

Cross-border strikes significantly escalated on November 12 after the IDF targeted Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Al-Quds Brigade commander Bahaa Abu Al-Ata in a precision strike at his residence in the Shejaiyah area of Gaza. According to the IDF, Al-Ata was planning to imminently launch an attack against Israeli citizens and soldiers. Al-Ata has been accused of organizing hundreds of attacks in Israel and developing the rocket capabilities of the PIJ in the Gaza Strip. Cross-border rocket strikes have continued in recent weeks, despite a ceasefire between Israel and the PIJ that went into effect on November 14.

Advice

Individuals in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are advised to monitor developments to the situation and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments. Seek immediate shelter in the event of a rocket attack.

Some Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and areas near the Israeli-Lebanese, Israeli-Syrian, and Israeli-Egyptian borders.