Rockets fired after Islamic Jihad leader Abu al-Ata assassinated in Gaza 

Source: Rockets fired after Islamic Jihad leader Abu al-Ata assassinated in Gaza – Arab-Israeli Conflict – Jerusalem Post

The IDF reinforced its troops and prepared for multiple possible situations. Shelters in Ashkelon were opened and school was canceled as a “severe security event.” Ashdod is in a state of emergency.

BY TZVI JOFFRE, KHALED ABU TOAMEH, TOVAH LAZAROFF, ANNA AHRONHEIM
 NOVEMBER 12, 2019 06:26
IDF attacks house of Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Bahaa Abu Al-Ata, November 12, 2019

Rocket sirens were sounded in areas surrounding the Gaza Strip and in Ashkelon, Ashdod and Gedera in two barrages of rockets after Israel confirmed that it assassinated Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Leader Bahaa Abu Al-Ata in Gaza early Tuesday morning.

The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed that Israel was responsible for the aerial attack against Al-Ata, who it described as a “senior Islamic Jihad commander” who master-minded “numerous terrorist attacks and rocket attacks against the State of Israel in recent months and who intended to immediately carry out further attacks.”

The operation against Al-Ata was approved by the IDF Chief-of-Staff, the head of the Shin Bet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the security cabinet. Netanyahu also serves as Israel’s Defense Minister.

The PIJ confirmed that Abu Al-Ata was killed, as well. The group said that one missile hit Abu al-Ata’s house, killing him and his wife instantly. Two of his children were seriously injured and rushed to hospital, it added.

The Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health confirmed that two Palestinians were killed in the attack early Tuesday.

Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziad al Nakhaleh, based in Lebanon, said in response to the assassination that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has “crossed all red lines.”

“We are going to war,” Nakhalaeh said.‭‮

The PIJ’s Al-Quds Brigade declared that the terrorist group was on the highest level of alert after the assassination.

The Hamas terrorist movement warned as well that the assassination “will not go unpunished.”
Islamic Jihad’s military wing, Al-Quds Brigades, said in a statement that Abu al-Ata, commander of the northern Gaza Strip, was “martyred while performing heroic jihad (holy war) to thwart conspiracies and defend the land.”

The group vowed to continue in the footsteps of its slain commander in order to “complete the process of liberation of the entire beloved Palestine. Our response will inevitably shock the Zionist entity.”

وكالة سوا الإخبارية@palsawa

( شهود عيان : مكان الانفجار في وحدة سكنية شرق مدينة غزة، وسيارات الطوارئ وصلت المكان ) ؛ ولا معلومات رسمية حتى اللحظة حول طبيعة هذا الحدث.

وكالة سوا الإخبارية@palsawa

صورة للمنزل الذي وقع فيه الانفجار شرق غزة الآن.

View image on Twitter

Smoke was seen rising from the scene before 5 a.m.

According to the Palestinian Al Quds newspaper’s Twitter, terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip attempted to fire a barrage of rockets into Israel after the attack. No sirens have been heard in Israel yet.

The operation was conducted jointly by the IDF and the Shin Bet and was carried out because Abu Al-Ata was preparing to attempt multiple terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers, including preparations for sniper and kidnapping attacks, drone launches, and preparations for rocket fire at various ranges.

The attack on the building he was in was conducted on exact intelligence information as a preventative measure to remove a real threat from the PIJ.

The IDF reinforced its troops and prepared for multiple possible situations Tuesday morning. Shelters in Ashkelon were opened and school was canceled, as the situation has been deemed a “severe security event.”

Ashdod declared a state of emergency and the city said it is opening public shelters.

Train service was temporarily canceled between Ashkelon and Beersheba and at the Sderot, Netivot and Ofakim stations.

The Homefront Command released directives for the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip and the Dan and Shfela region of central Israel. No studies will be held in communities surrounding the Gaza Strip or in Lahish and the central Negev. In central Israel, studies will only take place in secure buildings.

Gatherings in areas surrounding the Gaza Strip may only include up to 100 people in closed places. In Lahish and the central Negev, gatherings may include up to 300 people and in central Israel they may include up to 1,000 people in open areas and are without restrictions in closed areas.

Non-vital work will not take place in areas surrounding the Gaza Strip. Roads near the border fence will be closed.

“[Abu Al-Ata] and his activities were a time bomb that violated the understandings and undermined security, and the State of Israel therefore carried out an activity to remove this threat and prevent continued attempts to undermine stability and security,” wrote the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories on Twitter.

The head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s (PIJ) Al-Quds Brigades in Gaza, Baha Abu al-Ata was considered one of the top terrorists in the blockaded coastal enclave. While Hamas is the ruling party in the Gaza Strip, the group has in recent years been losing control over the street. And the vacuum is being filled by Ata, Tehran’s main man in Gaza.

Ata was been involved in planning attacks against Israel, manufacturing arms and upgrading long-range rocket launching capabilities. The second largest group in the Gaza Strip after Hamas, PIJ has been assessed by military intelligence as a factor increasing the risk of an escalation in the blockaded coastal enclave, since it is not under the direct control of Hamas but acts independently for its own interests.

 

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