Published: Tue, November 12, 2019

Israeli airstrike kills top Palestinian terror leader in his Gaza home

Israeli airstrike kills top Palestinian terror leader in his Gaza home

Israeli warplanes killed Baha Abu al-Ata with an airstrike in Shejaiyah, near Gaza City.

It was not immediately clear if the Islamic Jihad commander, identified as Akram al-Ajouri, was among those killed in the attack.

Shortly after the attack, salvo's of rockets were launched from Gaza into Israel, with sirens wailing across central and southern parts of the country.

The Islamic Jihad movement has issued a statement in which it mourns the deceased commander, al-Ata, црщ headed the military council of the Al-Quds Brigade, the military arm of the Islamic Jihad, and vows to avenge his death.

Israel killed a senior Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza early Tuesday in a resumption of pinpointed targeting that threatens a fierce round of cross-border violence with Palestinian militants.

The flare-up comes at a sensitive time politically for Israel. The group said that one of its senior members had been also targeted in a suspected Israeli airstrike in Damascus, where the Palestinian group has its headquarters.

"There must be a massive response which matches the crimes".

All other Palestinian factions, including Hamas, Fatah, the Popular and Democratic Fronts, condemned the Israeli "aggression" and also blamed the Israeli occupation for any possible escalation.

The militant Hamas movement said that Israel "bears all the consequences and results from this unsafe targeting and escalation". "The crime of assassinating the leader of the Islamic Jihad will not pass without punishment".

The IDF spokesman said that the forces targeted al-Ata because he was "a ticking bomb" and was allegedly plotting "imminent" attacks on Israel.

Will Israel's next government take a new approach on Gaza?

"We are preparing for a number of days of fighting", Israeli army spokesperson Jonathan Conricus said.

Netanyahu's party could break Israel's political deadlock by dumping him.

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