An Israeli air strike has killed a senior commander of the
militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Gaza.
al-Ata died along with his wife when a missile hit their home, the group said.
Four of their children and a neighbour were reportedly injured.
prime minister said Abu al-Ata was a “ticking bomb” who was planning
to carry out attacks on the country.
At least 150
rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza since the killing, which PIJ has
vowed to avenge.
Israelis have been lightly wounded in rocket attacks across the south,
according to the Barzilai Medical Center in the city of Ashkelon.
an eight-year-old girl was also in a serious condition after collapsing as her
family rushed towards a bomb shelter when an air raid siren sounded in Holon,
south of Tel Aviv.
same time as the attack on Abu al-Ata, two people were killed and 10 injured in
an Israeli air strike on the home of another Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader
in the Syrian capital, Damascus, Syria’s state news agency Sana said.
Sana cited a
military source as saying the PIJ leader, Akram al-Ajouri, was not harmed, but
that his son was among the dead. Israel’s military did not comment.
PIJ, which is
backed by Iran, has its headquarters in Damascus and is one of the strongest
militant groups in Gaza.
warplane fired a missile at a residential building in the eastern Shejaiya area
of Gaza before dawn on Tuesday, causing an explosion that could be heard from
kilometres away. The missile hit the third floor, killing Abu al-Ata and his
statement confirming Abu al-Ata’s death said he was its commander in Gaza’s
northern region and that he was undertaking “a heroic jihadist
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Abu al-Ata an “arch-terrorist” and
said he was “the main instigator of terrorism from the Gaza Strip”.
initiated, planned and carried out many terrorist attacks. He fired hundreds of
rockets at communities in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip, whose suffering
we have seen,” he told a news conference in Tel Aviv.
in the midst of planning additional attacks in the immediate short term. He was
a ticking bomb.” -BBC
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