After weeks of relative calm, the pro-Iran Palestinian Jihad Islami in the Gaza Strip half a dozen Grad missiles at Beersheba and Ashkelon before dawn Monday. There were no casualties. debkafile: The attack was a Jihad demonstration of strength after Hamas special forces liquidated its missile commander
Sunday, June 23, The two Palestinian factions are in the midst of a violent feud over Jihad’s opposition to the ceasefire accepted by Hamas after Israel’s Defensive Cloud operation last November.
Two of the four Grads aimed at Ashkelon were intercepted by Iron Dome; two more aimed at Beersheba exploded near the Bedouin town of Rahat.
The episode started when a Hamas force tried to arrest Raed Jundeir, the Jiahd’s missile commander in to stop the occasional rocket fire against Israel. Jundi resisted arrest and was killed in the ensuing firefight. Hamas claimed he was hit by a stray bullet. Jihad refused to believe this and to avenge his death, opened up with a missile barrage against Israel.
Hamas thereupon evacuated its bases and command posts in anticipation of Israeli retaliation, which was not long coming. The Israeli air strikes struck Gaza weapons caches in the central Gaza Strip region and a rocket firing pit in the south. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon order the Gaza crossings closed.