Israel airstrikes in Gaza, kills Islamic Jihad chief and 12 others
Gaza, Nov 13: Airstrike in Israeli on Tuesday killed the top commander of the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, Bahaa Abu el-Atta in the besieged Gaza Strip. Soon barrages of rockets were fired towards southern Israel from Gaza after the Islamic Jihad group confirmed the death of their leader.
Reportedly, the Islamic Jihad's armed wing announced the killing of Bahaa Abu al-Ata by Israeli forces in a statement after Israel confirmed it targeted the 42-year-old leader.
It was Israel's first high-profile killing of an Islamic Jihad figure since the 2014 war.
More than 200 rockets were launched towards southern Israel.
According to Israeli media, at least 60 of the projectiles were intercepted. Several minor injuries were reported in this operation, an 8-year-old girl was reportedly in stable condition after losing consciousness during the barrage.
Warning sirens sounded in multiple Israeli population centers on Tuesday, including Tel Aviv. The warning siren was to send thousands to shelters as rockets struck highways, buildings, and vehicles. Educational institutes, workplaces and public transport were closed in large areas of south and central Israel.
The pre-dawn opearation in Gaza killed two people, and at least 12 others were killed later as Israel continued to carry out airstrikes against suspected Islamic Jihad targets, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said al-Ata was "the main terrorist instigator in the Gaza Strip."
He further added, "Israel is not interested in escalation, but we will do everything required to defend ourselves."
However, Germany's Foreign Ministry slammed the rocket fire. German officials stated, "There is no justification for violence against innocent civilians."
After this attack, the Islamic Jihad leader Khaled Al-Batsh said, "Israel executed two coordinated attacks, in Syria and in Gaza, in a declaration of war."
Islamic Jihad spokesman Mos' ab al-Briem said the strike was a "declaration of war against our Palestinian people."
According to the father of slain commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, Bahaa Abu el-Atta went into hiding for a week, only appearing at home on the night of the attack.