WATCH: Israel’s Iron Dome Takes out Iranian-Backed Islamic Jihad Rockets

Israel's Iron Dome air defense system launches missiles to intercept rockets fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel, over Gaza City, Friday, Aug. 5, 2022. Palestinian officials say Israeli airstrikes on Gaza have killed at least 10 people, including a senior militant, and wounded 55 others. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Adel Hana / Associated Press

Israel launched its Iron Dome batteries Friday evening at rockets fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), an Iranian-backed terror group in Gaza.

PIJ took responsibility for launching what it claimed were 100 rockets from the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by another Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas.

Most of the rockets were fired around 9:00 p.m. and were aimed at cities and towns near Gaza, though some were aimed further north, as far as the city of Rishon LeTsiyon, south of Tel Aviv, according to Israel’s Army Radio.

Some of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome system, which has protected Israeli population centers from most rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists in recent conflicts.

Others exploded in Gaza without crossing into Israeli airspace. Israel’s Army Radio reported that PIJ’s rockets are more primitive than those used in past conflicts by Hamas.

The Iron Dome missile system receives funding from the U.S. President Joe Biden visited an Iron Dome battery on his visit to Israel last month.

Biden at Iron Dome (Mandel Gan / AFP via Getty)

US President Joe Biden (C) walks with Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz (L) and caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid (2nd R) past US Defence Attache in Israel, Brigadier General Shawn A. Harris (R), in front of an Iron Beam laser defence system (L) and an Iron Dome battery (R) during a tour of the Jewish state’s defence systems at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv on July 13, 2022. – Biden started today his first tour of the Middle East since entering the White House last year. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The PIJ rocket launches were in response to an Israeli military operation, named Operation Breaking Dawn, which sought to prevent PIJ from launching what the Israeli government said were imminent attacks.

Israel launched its airstrikes Friday afternoon and killed the leader of PIJ, Taysir al-Jabari — just days after the U.S. killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan.

Tabari “was in charge of the terrorist group’s rocket arsenal and was the group’s primary coordinator with Hamas,” the Jerusalem Post reported.

It is unclear whether, or to what extent, the conflict will escalate. Israel is preparing for the possibility of further rocket attacks.

Israel faces elections this fall, a factor that could have played into the decision of Prime Minister Yair Lapid to launch the operation, as his party faces a strong challenge from the opposition Likud Party, led by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The conflict is the second war in Gaza in as many years, after four years of calm during President Donald Trump’s tenure.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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