Israel strikes in Gaza (Archive: Pixabay)

Israel executed a brilliant deception Friday afternoon to launch a surprise assault on Islamic Jihad in Gaza. At least 15 terrorists were killed in the first wave of attacks in under three minutes, including several senior commanders.

The army’s deception operation comprised several carefully engineered steps:

  • Media reports based on IDF leaks claimed that Israel will not take any action before Sunday. Defense chiefs publicized a planned assessment session Saturday night to decide the “next moves”.
  • The army created the impression of a slow and limited buildup of forces near Gaza with no urgency or plans for an imminent attack.
  • The first strike was set for Friday afternoon to launch an unexpected daytime assault right before Shabbat.
  • Iron Dome air defense batteries were quietly deployed in central Israel without publicity.
  • Israel stressed that diplomatic efforts were ongoing and engaged with Egyptian mediators.

Once the signal was given, the Air Force unleashed heavy firepower at selected targets via fighter jets and drones, Ynet reported. The opening shot included the assassination of Islamic Jihad military chief Tayseer Jabari as well as other senior commanders.

Notably, the IDF has developed a highly advanced machine for detecting enemy assets.

Israel expects Islamic Jihad to respond once it overcomes the initial shock. Iron Dome has been deployed in the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem regions and across south Israel, and bomb shelters were opened in several towns.