Islamic Jihad continues retaliation for death of top commander
Israel’s airstrike in the north of Gaza on early Tuesday morning killed Bahaa Abu al-Ata, one of the top commanders of the Islamic Jihad paramilitary group.
In the airstrike on the house of Bahaa Abu al-Ata, at least one more person, said to be his wife, was also killed.
The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) took responsibility for the attack on Tuesday and released a statement that said: “Abu al-Ata was promoting preparations to commit immediate terror attacks in various ways towards Israeli civilian and IDF troops during the recent few days. Al-Ata trained terror squads for infiltration and sniper attacks, drone launching and rocket fire to different distances."
The Iran-backed Islamic Jihad confirmed the death of Al-Ata, claiming that he was killed during "a heroic action", without elaborating. The group also promised retaliation: "Our inevitable retaliation will rock the Zionist entity."
Hamas, the other paramilitary group in charge of Gaza also promised that Al-Ata’s death “will not go unpunished.”
Shortly after Islamic Jihad and Hamas promised to retaliate, dozens of rockets were launched from Gaza at southern and central Israel. IDF said that the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted 20 missiles out of the first 50 that were launched at Israel. So far, over 200 rockets have been launched at Israel from Gaza since Tuesday morning.
Israel says so far 39 Israelis have been injured. Schools and non-essential work were canceled in all targeted areas and the special situation has been declared by Defense Minister Bennett.
Egypt has been trying to calm the situation in Gaza by encouraging Hamas not to join Islamic Jihad in retaliation against Israel.
Israel is preparing for escalation and has also called in some reserve forces and announced that its fighters have targeted more Islamic Jihad positions in Gaza Strip, including observation posts and an underground weapons’ manufacturing facility.