Islamic Jihad Leader Killed – Gaza Retaliates With Rockets

 In Foreign

At approximately 4:30 a.m. local time this morning, a targeted strike by Israeli forces killed Islamic Jihad Leader Bahaa Abu Al-Ata at his home in East Gaza. Gaza terrorists launched at least 160 rockets in retaliation.

The strike by Israeli forces killed Islamic Jihad leader Al-Ata and his wife in their home in Gaza. The Islamic Jihad leader reportedly was planning new acts of terror inside Israel. He was referred to as a “ticking time bomb.”

Islamic Jihad is an Iranian-backed terrorist organization. Their tendrils spread across numerous areas across the region, including Gaza and Syria. It has been a source of Israeli concern for some time.

The rockets rained down all through Israel, and left citizens running for the shelters.  According to reports, several Israelis were injured, including an 8 year old girl who was rushed to a hospital in serious condition. One bus driver caught a rocket attack on camera on the highway in front of his bus.

Screenshot via Twitter @reglash

The Jerusalem Post reported:

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said that Al-Ata was the person who tried to undermine Israel’s efforts to reach a ceasefire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. “In recent days he was working to perpetrate attacks against Israel,” he said. “We tried to thwart his efforts in different ways without success and we then recommended a targeted killing.”

Kochavi added: “We are not interested in an escalation but we are ready – on the ground, in the air and at sea.”

The IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories closed the Erez and Kerem HaShalom crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip, and restricted the fishing zone Palestinians can enter off the coast of Gaza.

“We stand behind the security forces, who have been working for the success of this morning’s operations for a long time,” said President Reuven Rivlin in a statement. “I know that they, and the Israeli government that approved the operation, have Israel’s security, and only that, in their minds.

“This is no time for political squabbles, and those who do so bring no credit to themselves. It is the time to stop such statements immediately. Israeli citizens – please listen to the life-saving instructions of the IDF Home Front Command and take good care of yourselves.”

By mid-morning, an Israeli airstrike targeted Damascus to attack another Islamic Jihad commander, Akram al-Ajouri. The group claimed he was not harmed, but his son and granddaughter were both killed. Islamic Jihad has vowed to respond with “no limits.”

Fox reported:

A military official in Damascus said Israeli warplanes fired three missiles toward the Syrian capital, with one being destroyed by Syria’s air defenses before reaching its target, according to the Associated Press. The two others struck the home of al-Ajouri, the official said. A second man identified as Abdullah Yousef Hassan was killed and nine civilians wounded, the unidentified official said according to Syrian state media.

Netanyahu has come under fire for his “tepid” response to recent terror attacks. This one is definitely not “tepid.” He called a meeting of his security council to discuss the situation. The opposition leader of the Blue and White party, Benny Gantz agreed that the targeting was necessary to take out Al-Ata.

Featured photo:  Al-Ata’s house in East Gaza after the precision strike screenshot via Twitter Majdi Fathi.

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