May 13, 2023 | Flash Brief

Palestinians Declare Gaza Ceasefire

May 13, 2023 | Flash Brief

Palestinians Declare Gaza Ceasefire

Latest Developments​

The Palestinian Joint Operations Room (JOR) — a group of approximately 12 Palestinian armed groups led by Hamas — called a ceasefire on May 13, ending five days of fighting between Islamic Jihad terrorists and Israeli forces. Cross-border rocket salvoes appeared to ebb — but did not stop entirely — at 10 pm, the start time given by Palestinian officials and Egyptian mediators for the truce. Israel did not confirm entering any such deal but had said earlier that if attacks on it ceased, it would end military strikes on Gaza targets.

Expert Analysis​

“Yet another flare-up between Israel and an Iranian terrorist proxy on its border appears to have ended. Take claims that this was an agreed truce with a grain of salt: Palestinian Islamic Jihad was clearly on the ropes and had every reason to declare cease-fire as it took a severe beating from the Israeli military.” —Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Islamic Jihad depleted about a fifth of its arsenal in this mini war, meaning it could have kept fighting for many days. That it did not want to continue fighting suggests that Israel’s precision strikes on its leadership had the desired effect of degrading and demoralizing the group — especially as, yet again, Hamas sat out the fighting and left it hanging out to dry.” Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Islamic Jihad Capabilities Eroded

Israel launched Operation Shield and Arrow on May 9 with strikes that killed three Islamic Jihad leaders responsible for a massive daylight rocket salvo on the border town of Sderot a week earlier. In the ensuing fighting, Israeli forces killed another four Islamic Jihad leaders and around 15 other terrorist operatives. Israeli forces also destroyed military infrastructure and rocket silos in Gaza.

In Israel, Palestinian rockets killed an 80-year-old woman and a Palestinian laborer, and sent some 1.5 million citizens to shelters.

Earlier on Saturday, Israeli National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi said in a speech that, prior to the fighting, Islamic Jihad in Gaza had 6,000 rockets in its arsenal while the ruling Hamas terrorist group had four times that. Islamic Jihad, supported by approximately eight organizations coordinated by the JOR, fired some 1,200 rockets at Israel as of May 13.

Related Analysis

Iran’s Multifront Strategy Against Israel,” by Jonathan Schanzer

Islamic Jihad Seeks Israel’s Destruction,” FDD Flash Brief

Gaza-Based Terrorists Backed by Iran Renew Rocket Fire, Reaching Tel Aviv Outskirts,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Kills Three Islamic Jihad Terror Chiefs in Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief


Arab Politics Egypt Israel Palestinian Politics