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Update 3:54 p.m.:
PIJ officially claimed responsibility for the attacks in an Arabic statement posted online.
The terror group referred to their operation as “Breaking the Silence” and claimed that it is payback for “the continuous Zionist aggression against our people in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip,” according to a translation of the statement.
PIJ claims that it fired some 130 rockets and mortars and promised to release footage of the attacks.
The Fatah Party’s al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades also claimed responsibility for some of Wednesday’s rockets attacks.
Israel experienced 74 rocket attacks in the entirety of 2013, according to public stats.
Palestinian terrorists tied to Iran fired more than 60 rockets into Israel on Wednesday, causing widespread panic among Israeli citizens and throwing into jeopardy months of U.S.-led negotiations towards a peace deal.
The Iranian-backed terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) reportedly claimed responsibility for firing dozens of rockets into Southern Israel.
The Palestinian al Quds Brigade’s main website claimed earlier in the morning that PIJ was responsible for the attack. PIJ says it will be releasing a statement on the attacks within the next hours.
Al Quds reported that more than 90 rockets had been fired in retaliation for what claimed is Israeli aggression and “Zionist settlements.”
The boost in rocket attacks comes just a week after Israel seized a ship carrying advanced Iranian weapons destined for the Gaza Strip.
One Israeli official was quoted on local radio as saying, “It’s a barrage such as we haven’t seen for two years,” according to reports.
PIJ officials and the terror group Hamas have been threatening to attack Israel for weeks and similar rhetoric has emerged this week from Iran, where one of the country’s military leaders claimed Tehran has its “hands on the trigger” to destroy Israel.
Early reports indicate that no Israelis were harmed in the attack, but an official readout of the damage has not yet been released.
PIJ is just “one of several [terror] groups that observers worry have been stockpiling weapons, including advanced missiles,” according to the pro-Israel advocacy group The Israel Project (TIP).
A team of PIJ terrorists on Tuesday “managed to fire a mortar at Israel,” TIP reported.
Israel’s Air Force responded to the incident, killing three of the terrorists.
The Israeli Defense Forces recently disclosed that the intercepted Iranian weapons ship was carrying a large cache of advanced weapons.
“Naval forces discovered a large Iranian weapons shipment intended for Gaza terrorists,” the IDF reported on its blog. “The shipment included powerful M-302 rockets capable of striking almost any point in Israel, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.”
The IDF additionally discovered “40 long-range M-302 rockets, 181 mortar shells and approximately 400,000 7.62 caliber rounds.”
While Iran “attempted to hide its involvement in the weapons shipment,” the IDF said in a statement the “containers have Iranian authenticity seals on them, including seals of the Iranian postal company.”
The IDF said via Twitter that it “will act to protect our citizens.”