Saturday, 07 December, 2019

Israeli forces kill Islamic Jihad field commander in Gaza strike

Israeli forces kill Islamic Jihad field commander in Gaza strike Israeli airstrike kills top Palestinian terror leader in his Gaza home
Travis Berry | 13 November, 2019, 01:24

Police closed roads on the Gaza outskirts as a precaution.

Islamic Jihad said it was targeting Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other cities with rocket fire.

The slaying of Baha Abu Al-Atta in his home looked likely to pose a new challenge for Gaza's ruling Hamas faction, which has mostly tried to maintain a truce with Israel since a 2014 war.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip and is considered a rival of the PIJ, condemned Al-Ata's killing, vowing it "will not pass without punishment".

Bennett, Israel's new defense minister, has long called for a tougher response to rocket fire from Gaza, including a resumption of targeted killings.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the decision to kill the Islamic Jihad commander was made on Sunday by the cabinet.

The rocket fire comes after Israel's military said it killed the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad's senior leader Baha Abu Al-Ata in a targeted airstrike.

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Two rockets targeted the home of a senior figure of the Palestinian group, Akram Al Ajouri, "killing his son Muadh and another person", SANA said. Al-Ikhbariya channel said al-Ajouri's son was among those killed. A second man identified as Abdullah Yousef Hassan was killed and nine civilians wounded, the unidentified official said according to Syrian state-media.

An AFP correspondent at the scene of the dawn strike saw a partially destroyed three-storey building in a chic neighbourhood of the capital not far from the Lebanese embassy.

"Kahol Lavan will back up any activity that is right for Israel's security and put the safety of the people above politics".

Shortly after, Palestinian militants launched a salvo of rockets into Israel, witnesses said.

Since Hamas took over Gaza by force in 2007 from the internationally backed Palestinian Authority, Israel and Gaza militants fought three wars, with the third in 2014 lasting for 50 days and was the deadliest and most destructive.

Since the 2014 war, Israel has mostly refrained from targeted assassinations of senior Gaza militants, but did so one time in May, Israeli airplanes killed a Hamas commander and financial broker in a auto traveling in Gaza City during a three-day exchange of fire. In a statement, Islamic Jihad blamed the attack on "the Zionist criminal enemy".

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