The IDF carried out an attack in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza, hitting the home of a senior Islamic Jihad commander, Baha Abu al-Ata, and killing him Walla! News reports. According to Palestinian sources, Abu al-Ata’s wife was also killed.
Following the attack, sirens sounded in the Gaza border area and as far away as Ashdod and Ashkelon and in Rishon LeZion, Holon and Gedera in the center of Israel. Air raid sirens sounded in Tel Aviv this morning as well. Schools in the south of Israel are closed, and the IDF Home Front Command announced that all non-vital places of work in the Dan area should remain closed. Ben Gurion Airport remains open. Magen David Adom has declared a state of high alert in the area.
Several incidents of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip have been reported, but no serious casualties have resulted.
The IDF described Abu al-Ata as “a ticking bomb” and said he was planning an imminent attack on Israel.
Following the assassination of Abu al-Ata, Islamic Jihad declared that “our response will shock the Zionist entity.”
The IDF said that the operation was approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also defense minister. It said that Abu al-Ata directed most of Islamic Jihad’s activity in the Gaza Strip, and that he was responsible for attacks on Israel in the form of rocket fire, sniper fire, and drones. The spokesperson said that the IDF anticipated several days of fighting, and that aerial defenses had been reinforced.
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