Major General Ghasan Alyan, head of the Unit for Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), on Friday published a message in Arabic to the people of Gaza about the current escalation.

“Residents of the Gaza Strip: Over the past four days, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization insisted on carrying out a terrorist attack against the State of Israel, completely disregarding the security implications it would have on the residents of the Gaza Strip,” said Alyan.

“The IDF targeted those who posed a threat to stability and security. We will not allow any harm to the security of Israeli civilians,” he added.

“The responsibility lies in the hands of Hamas. Who does it care for more? The residents of the Gaza Strip or terrorist organizations?” concluded Alyan.

The message comes after Israel launched Operation Breaking Dawn, which began when the IDF eliminated senior Islamic Jihad commander Tayseer al-Jabari and 15 other terrorists.

Terrorists from Gaza then fired a barrage of at least 100 rockets towards Israel, including a barrage directed towards central Israel.

The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for firing the rockets, and announced that "this is an open campaign and not limited only to the Gaza Strip."

IDF aircraft retaliated by attacking a site for the production of materials used in rockets belonging to the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)