• Eyal Pinko

"Dawn" Operation: Significant Psychological Effects on Islamic Jihad

In a surgical attack, lethal and based on quality and real-time intelligence, Taysir Jabari, the commander of the northern military wing of the Islamic Jihad, was killed on Friday (August 5). After the surgical attack, the Israeli Air Force attacked a series of targets identified with the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.

Thus began the "Dawn" operation, whose official goal is to thwart the terror activities of the Islamic Jihad organization.

Nimr Abu Amsha (the head of the propaganda division) and Abdullah Kadum (the anti-tank unit deputy commander), whose squads were on their way to carry out a terror attack, together with the head of the northern Gaza Strip Observation unit, were also killed as part of the air force strikes.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, sits on the sidelines and does not respond militarily. At the same time, the IDF refrains from attacking targets belonging to Hamas, which will bring them into the circle of combat.

Time is now working against the Islamic Jihad. The IDF is destroying the assets and infrastructure in its possession; the IDF's opening attack surprised it and caused a painful hit to the organization's senior officers.

The Islamic Jihad arsenal is getting low; the Israeli attacks hit its rockets, mortars, anti-tank missiles, drones and ammunition warehouses, and production sites. Moreover, most of the hundreds of rockets and mortars the organization fired toward Israeli cities were intercepted by the Iron Dome systems or hit in open areas. So the Islamic Jihad, for now, has no "wining" pictures or operational achievements to show.

In addition, Hamas does not join the campaign and does not help the organization. Hamas also dialogues with the international community and Arab countries to create calm and cease-fire.

Even in the internal arena, the Islamic Jihad does not achieve significant successes; it receives criticism from home for the fact that the campaign started because of it, the significant damages that the IDF bombs caused, as well as for the closing of the Gaza strip crossings, and the harm to trade. These factors and the not supportive Hamas are attributed to Islamic Jihad's blame.

All of these have a profound and important psychological impact on all levels - the internal one in the Gaza Strip and the external one vis-a-vis the international community in general and the Arab world in particular.

The Arab world and the international community are watching the IDF's moves, which have so far received a backup (including from the US) on the one hand and, on the other hand, are creating a wide range of influence effects against the Islamic Jihad.

The influence effect on Islamic Jihad has several aspects. The first is the pressure from home and abroad for not supporting the organization; the second is that the IDF has a long arm - the

attacks are lethal, precise, based on intelligence, and avoid harming those not involved.

The terror organization's senior officers feel the sword placed on their necks and a sense of intelligence intrusion. The intelligence intrusion feeling is that the IDF knows their hiding places, where the headquarters are located, the weapon depots, warehouses, the production infrastructure, and even more, where the senior officers are.

Adding to this intrusion fear is the noise from the sky of dozens of planes, helicopters, and UAVs, hovering above and ready to attack at any opportunity. The air and intelligence superiority, together with a naval blockade and the closing of the crossings, constitute an additional and crucial psychological pillar.

The IDF and the other security agencies have demonstrated impressive moves and coordination between them. They demonstrated the ability to bring accurate intelligence in real-time and to close fire circles in a short time and with great precision.

All of these contribute to producing significant psychological effects on Islamic Jihad, Hamas, the Arab countries, and the international community.

It is important in the coming days to continue these moves without bringing Hamas into the circle of combat and to increase psychological efforts against Islamic Jihad and Iran.

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