Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Friday that Islamic Jihad is an Iranian proxy that wants to destroy Israel, noting that Israel has a zero-tolerance policy for any attempted attacks from Gaza.

Referring to the Operation Breaking Dawn against targets in Gaza that started earlier on Friday, Lapid said that Israel will not sit idly by when there are those who are trying to harm its civilians and that the battle “will take as long as it takes.”

“Approximately four hours ago, the Israel Defense Forces — in cooperation with the Israel Security Agency — struck Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza. Among those killed were Taysir al-Jabari, one of the two most senior commanders in Islamic Jihad, as well as a cell preparing to launch an anti-tank missile attack against Israel,” he said.

“Israel carried out a precise counter-terror operation against an immediate threat. Our fight is not with the people of Gaza,” he said, adding that “Islamic Jihad is an Iranian proxy that wants to destroy the State of Israel and kill innocent Israelis. The head of Islamic Jihad is in Tehran as we speak.”

He was referring to the visit by Ziyad al-Nakhalah, the leader Islamic Jihad -- a militant outfit designated a terrorist organization by the US, EU, and UK. 

During the week, Nakhalah held meeting with several senior Iranian officials in Tehran including Supreme Leader's adviser Ali Akbar Velayati, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and Kamal Kharrazi, the head of Iran's Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, as well as President Ebrahim Raisi.

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