Israel has just taken out the trash in a pre-dawn strike. And now they’re feeling the angry blowback.
As this was being compiled, the number of rockets fired at Israel has risen from 170 to 180 and now reportedly exceeds 200.
The early morning Israeli airstrike on Tuesday that killed a top Islamic Jihad commander in the Gaza Strip carried with it a number of messages addressed to Hamas, Iran and Syria.
Just minutes after the Air Force bombed the home of Islamic Jihad’s Baha Abu al-Ata in Gaza, killing him and his wife, another explosion took place in Damascus at the home of the deputy head of Islamic Jihad, whose headquarters are located in the Syrian city.
Israel did not take credit for the Damascus bombing, and it was unclear whether Akram al-Ajouri was killed or wounded in the strike.
Either way, Israel was saying very clearly: all of Islamic Jihad is in our sights and is a legitimate target. No one is beyond Israel’s reach.
BREAKING: We just targeted Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza, Baha Abu Al Ata.
Al Ata was directly responsible for hundreds of terror attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) November 12, 2019
What were the casualties and response from Gaza?
Five Palestinians were killed and 27 injured in the Israeli attacks, according to Palestinian sources in the Gaza Strip.
Several PIJ leaders responded to the assassination of Abu al-Ata by declaring that their group was now at war with Israel. They also vowed to make Israel pay a “heavy price,” and accused the Israeli government of “crossing all redlines.”
The threats came as thousands of PIJ supporters attended the funeral of al-Ata in Gaza City hours after he was killed.
“Israel has declared open war on us,” said PIJ senior official Khaled al-Batsh. “We won’t allow Israel to change the rules of engagement, and [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu will pay the price and he will fail again.”
Batsh said that PIJ has enough rockets and men to continue the fight against Israel “and defend the resistance enterprise.”
Source: Jerusalem Post
#Israeli Bus driver captures on film moment a rocket from #Gaza hits a busy intersection in southern Israel. @IDF says more than 50 rockets fired on central/southern Israrl@after Israel assassinated senior PIJ leader in Gaza…. pic.twitter.com/afypvFb7b2
— Ruth Marks Eglash (@reglash) November 12, 2019
Israel was preparing for several days of fighting after over 170 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into the Jewish state Tuesday following the targeted assassination of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Leader Bahaa Abu Al-Ata in a precision Israeli airstrike.
In the afternoon, the IDF launched a new wave of attacks against Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip, hitting training bases and the openings to tunnels the terror group had been digging into Israel. The IDF also announced that it was calling up a limited number of reservists to man Iron Dome missile defense batteries as well as to beef up the Home Front Command.
As of 4:30 p.m. Israel time, the IDF was reporting more than 160 rocket launches and over 50 interceptions.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after a security cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv: “Terrorists think they can hit civilians and hide behind civilians. We showed that we can hit the terrorist with minimal damage to civilians. Anyone who thinks they can hit our civilians and get away with it is wrong. If you hit us we will hit you.”
And is the American reaction?
US Ambassador David M. Friedman said the US stands “with our friend and ally Israel at this critical moment” on social media on Tuesday after roughly 170 rockets were fired on Israel from the Gaza Strip.
Friedman further said Islamic Jihad, “an Islamist terrorist org backed by Iran” is attacking Israel with “100’s of missiles aimed at civilians.”
Advisor to US President Donald Trump Avi Berkowitz said on social media on Tuesday that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are the “main obstacles holding Gazans back” as they “put violence ahead of bettering the lives of the people of Gaza.”
He also said that “the US fully supports our partner & ally Israel in their fight against terrorism.”
Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman claimed in an interview with Walla News that he wanted to target kill top Islamic Jihad commander Bahaa Abu al-Ata a year ago, when serving as Defense Minister, and that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the one who resisted and prevented it.
“I claimed a year ago that we should have looked for a targeted killing of [al-Ata], then it was the prime minister who forcefully prevented it. It doesn’t matter why, he just did – but it’s better late than never,” Liberman said.