20 November 2019



  • All sides will remain committed to avoiding major escalation in Gaza despite significant recent spike in cross-border violence
  • Hamas’ reluctance to join PIJ in striking Israel shows the group…
  • US announcement that it no longer considers Israeli settlements illegal under…



An Israeli airstrike killed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commander Baha Abu al-Ata on 11 November. Following the operation, officials claimed this was carried out in retaliation for his role in directing past attacks targeting Israel and in preparing further strikes. PIJ responded by launching rocket and mortar attacks into southern Israel, including against cities such as Ashkelon, triggering further retaliatory airstrikes in the Gaza Strip. The violence lasted until a 14 November Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, which has largely held since. Hamas did not participate in the initial violence, and although some rocket launches following the ceasefire have been attributed to it, the group’s central leadership has denied directing these.

The Iran-supported PIJ is Gaza’s largest militant group after Hamas and has sporadically targeted Israel with cross-border rocket strikes. Targeted assassinations of the group’s leaders have typically prompted such strikes, although Israel has only rarely carried out such operations

Israel forces and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) engage in retaliatory airstrikes 

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