“Senior Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata was targeted overnight in Gaza. He was responsible for many terrorist attacks and the firing of rockets at Israel in recent months and had intended to carry out imminent attacks. The IDF action was recommended by the IDF Chief-of-Staff and ISA Director and was approved by the Prime Minister and Defense Minister after it had been presented to – and approved by – the Security Cabinet”, the prime minister’s office tweeted.
The Islamic Jihad movement has issued a statement in which it mourns the deceased commander, Bahu Abu al-Ata, and vows to avenge his death.
The Palestinian health ministry has meanwhile said that “a Palestinian man a woman were killed, and two more people were injured in an airstrike at a house in the eastern part of al-Shejaya in the eastern Gaza Strip”.
While the IDF has yet to confirm or deny the interception of rockets, the military did urge residents of southern Israel to stay close to bomb shelters as the region was on high alert following the operation, The Times of Israel reported.
In a parallel development Reuters reported citing a statement issued by the militant group that a top Islmaic Jihad commander, identified as Akram al-Ajouri, had allegedly been targeted in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Tuesday. The statement didn’t immediately blame anyone for the incident; the IDF is said to have declined to comment.