Tel Aviv targeted; school, work off after Israel kills Islamic Jihad commander

Source: Tel Aviv targeted; school, work off after Israel kills Islamic Jihad commander | The Times of Israel

Iron Dome intercepts rockets fired into Israel from Gaza after IAF targets Baha Abu al-Ata, accused of being behind recent barrages of rockets

Palestinians fire rockets from Gaza City toward Israel on November 12, 2019. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

The Times of Israel is liveblogging the events of November 12, as the nation girds for a major escalation in violence following the assassination of top Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata in Gaza.

Rocket damages car in Ashdod; no injuries reported

A rocket strikes the city of Ashdod, causing no injuries but damaging a car, police say.

“Sappers from the Israel Police are responding to an impact site in the city of Ashdod,” police say.

Several rockets have also struck the town of Sderot, northeast of the Gaza Strip.

“There have been no reports of damage, and there were no injuries,” police say.

– Judah Ari Gross

Hamas says strike on Palestinian Jihad commander ‘won’t go without punishment’

The Hamas terror group says the assassination of Baha Abu al-Ata, a senior commander in Islamic Jihad’s military wing will not pass without a “punishment.”

“Our Palestinian people bid farewell today to a commander and fighter who followed the path of martyred leaders. We in Hamas affirm that the Zionist enemy will bear responsibility for all the consequences and ramifications of this escalation and dangerous attack,” Hamas says in a statement.

“The path of fighting and resistance is on the rise and the the crime of assassinating the commander Abu Salim will not pass without a punishment,” the terror group says, referring to Abu al-Ata’s nickname.

– Adam Rasgon

IDF denies Palestinian reports of IDF strikes on Gaza

A senior IDF official denies Palestinian media reports of Israeli strikes in the northern Gaza Strip.

“Contrary to reports, there were no hits on Gaza,” the official tells Channel 12 news.

Eshkol regional council: All rockets, incendiary balloons land in open areas

The Eshkol region of southern Israel says the rocket and mortar attacks launched from the Gaza Strip have so far all landed in agricultural fields and other open areas, not within communities.

“There are no impacts within communities, and no damage has been caused,” an Eshkol spokesperson says.

Balloons suspected of carrying explosives have touched down in several fields in the region.

“They are being taken care of by police sappers,” the Eshkol spokesperson says.

– Judah Ari Gross

Tel Aviv stock market trades as normal despite security situation

The Tel Aviv stock market is trading as normal, a spokeswoman says.

“We are considered an essential operation, therefore we are working as usual.”

– Shoshanna Solomon

Islamic Jihad head: ‘We are going to war. Netanyahu crossed all red lines’

Ziad al-Nakhala, the secretary-general of Islamic Jihad, says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has crossed “all the red lines” in the assassination of Baha Abu al-Ata, a senior commander in the terror group.

“We are going to war. Netanyahu has crossed all the red lines in the assassination of Al-Quds Brigades Commander Baha Abu al-Ata. We we will respond forcefully,” he tells Dar al-Hayat, an Arabic-language news site.

Jordanian media reports 2 arrested for planning attacks on Israeli, US embassies

Jordanian media reports that intelligence services in the country recently thwarted terrorist attacks targeting workers at the Israeli and US embassies in Amman, as well as American troops stationed in the Hashemite Kingdom.

Two suspects were arrested on suspicion of planning the attack, the Kan public broadcaster reports.

Islamic Jihad’s military wing vows major response to strike on commander

The Al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad’s military wing, vows a major response to the assassination of Baha Abu al-Ata, a senior commander in the terror group.

“We announce the general mobilization of our fighters and units and we affirm that the response to this crime will have no limits and will be tantamount to the size of the crime that the criminal enemy perpetrated,” the Al-Quds Brigades says in a statement.

According to the Islamic Jihad military wing, Abu al-Ata, 42, was “one of the most prominent members of its military council and the commander of the northern part of the [Gaza Strip].”

– Adam Rasgon

Joint List’s Odeh accuses Netanyahu of escalating situation for political gain

Joint List chair Ayman Odeh accuses Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of escalating the situation in Gaza for his own political gain.

“A cynical man who lost two consecutive elections will leave only scorched earth in a desperate attempt to remain in office,” Odeh says on Twitter.

“For a decade he rose every morning to deepen the occupation and keep the prospect of peace – and so he did so today too.”

– Raoul Wootliff

Sirens sound in cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon; no injuries reported

Fresh rocket sirens sound in the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon and their surrounding suburbs.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

– Judah Ari Gross

Rivlin calls for end to political squabbling with message of support to citizens

President Reuven Rivlin sends a plea for political unity as Israel comes under sustained rocket fire, sending a message of support to the country’s citizens.

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

“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.”

– Raphael Ahren

Blue and White MK rejects allegations strike timed for political benefit

Blue and White MK Ram Ben Barak says he “rejects the allegations about the timing of the attack,” after suggestions the targeting of a senior member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad was linked to political considerations.

“There is no better time for the elimination of Abu al-Ata, regardless of the political situation. We are still working for a unity government,” Ben Baak says.

Palestinian media: IDF hits targets in Gaza in response to rocket fire

Palestinian media reports that the Israel Defense Forces has hit a number of targets in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire from the enclave.

There is no immediate confirmation from the IDF.

Likud MK Sa’ar calls for political unity amid rocket fire from Gaza

Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar calls for political unity amid rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

“The people of Israel are united in these moments, and this unity should also be reflected in the political system and will add strength to Israel,” Sa’ar says on Twitter.

“The target should be dismantling Hamas’s military infrastructure and Islamic Jihad in Gaza,” he says.

Raoul Wootliff

Video shows rocket interception in Tel Aviv area

The Iron Dome missile defense system is activated near Tel Aviv, following rocket sirens in the city.

A video from the scene shows the distinctive puff of smoke caused by the detonation of an Iron Dome Tamir interceptor missile.

It is not immediately clear if the missile successfully shot down an incoming rocket or if it self-detonated after Iron Dome operators saw that the rocket was heading toward an unpopulated area.

Rocket alerts sound in Tel Aviv

Incoming rocket alert sirens sound in Tel Aviv and suburbs south of the city.

Tel Aviv residents report two Iron Dome missiles fired at the incoming projectiles.

There are reports of explosions, indicating at least one rocket was intercepted.

Ben Gurion Airport operating as usual

Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport says it will continue to operate as usual despite the ongoing rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

“Ben Gurion Airport is working as usual with no changes to the flight schedule,” a spokesman for the Israeli Airports Authority says.

Earlier, the IDF Home Front Command ordered closed all schools and non-essential businesses in the Tel Aviv Metropolitan area, where the airport is located.

— Judah Ari Gross

No injuries reported in rocket attacks

The Magen David Adom ambulance service says there have so far been no injuries directly caused by rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, though medics have treated three people for light wounds caused by falls while running to bomb shelters.

A 93-year-old man in the city of Ashkelon, a 24-year-old woman in the city of Gedera and an 18-year-old woman in Ashdod sustained light injuries while rushing to bomb shelters, MDA says.

In addition, three people were taken to the hospital after they suffered panic attacks caused by the rocket attacks, the ambulance service says.

“Magen David Adom teams are on alert and are in contact with security officials,” the service says.

 Judah Ari Gross

School and work called off in multiple regions; large assemblies forbidden

The IDF Home Front Command orders all schools and non-essential businesses closed in the following areas: the Gaza periphery; the Lachish region; the western Negev; the central Negev; the Shfela region; the Dan region, including Tel Aviv; and the Yarkon region.

In the Dan and Yarkon regions, the military forbids all public gatherings of more than 300 people.

In the other regions, the IDF forbids gatherings of more than 100 people.

— Judah Ari Gross


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