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Message sent on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and its Israel advocacy partner, CIJA (The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs):

Dear Community Members, 

As most of you will be aware, earlier today the IDF launched Operation Breaking Dawn, a series of precision strikes in Gaza targeting the military leadership of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). The action follows Israel’s arrest last Tuesday of Bassem Al-Saadi – a senior PIJ leader in the West Bank – and represents a pre-emptive attack against an imminent threat of significant PIJ terrorist attacks, one of which had actually gone “operational” coincident with the IDF strikes. Tayseer al-Jabari, commander of the PIJ’s northern division (who has a long history of leading terrorist operations against Israeli civilian targets) was specifically targeted and multiple reports confirm he was neutralized as a result of the plane and drone strikes, along with the two squads that were enroute to terrorist operations against Israel. Sadly, there are reports that a child was also killed as a result of this operation.   

There are intelligence reports that Hamas will not be drawn into the fight. That, along with news of Egyptian interventions to help de-escalate the situation offer some hope that Operation Breaking Dawn will be of a very short duration. It should be noted that Palestinian Islamic Jihad is a Canadian listed terrorist entity and serves as a proxy of the Ayatollah-led regime in Iran – which funds, directs and controls terrorist entities like PIJ around the world. Indeed, PIJ leader and Secretary General, Ziyad al-Nakhalah, is currently in Teheran consulting with PIJ’s Iranian patrons. 

Israel has put into place resources and plans to deal with any contingency. These include Iron Dome batteries in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Be’er Sheva; additional ground personnel to augment the IDF presence around Gaza; as well as a special order sealing an 80 kilometre area in the region. A potential complicating factor relates to Sunday’s observance of Tisha B’Av and the intention of as many as 2,000 Jews to ascend the Temple Mount in commemoration of the anniversary of the destruction of the two Temples. It is unclear whether those plans will have to be adjusted due to ongoing tensions. 

We will continue to closely monitor the situation over the coming days and provide further updates as necessary. Please click here to locate “Israeli News in English” sources for on the ground updates on the current situation.

Shabbat Shalom,

Gustavo Zentner

Elaine Goldstine
Chief Executive Officer
Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
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