Published: Tue, November 12, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Islamic Jihad declares 'We're going to war,' after IDF kills its strongman

Islamic Jihad declares 'We're going to war,' after IDF kills its strongman

Since the 2014 war, Israel has mostly refrained from targeted assassinations of senior Gaza militants, but did so one time in May, Israeli airplanes killed a Hamas commander and financial broker in a auto travelling in Gaza City during a three-day exchange of fire.

The group confirmed Ajouri's son had been killed in the attack, which came as a similar strike took the life of an Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza.

In May, during the most serious flareup in recent years, when Palestinian terrorists fired more than 700 rockets into Israel, the IAF killed Hamed Hamdan al-Khodari, who it said was responsible for funneling money from Iran to Gaza terror groups.

The Islamic Jihad statement did not immediately accuse anyone in the Damascus incident.

Islamic Jihad acknowledged al-Ata's death and said his wife had also been killed. "We will respond forcefully", PIJ Secretary-General Ziad al-Nakhala told the Dar al-Hayat Arabic-language news site. Syrian state media earlier reported that at least two people were killed and six wounded in an attack in the early hours that targeted a building in Damascus, without saying who had been targeted or who had carried out the attack.

Speaking to MEE, political analyst Adnan abu-Amer said that abul-Ata's killing was the first assassination of a senior Palestinian resistance leader since 2012, when Israel killed the senior leader of Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, Ahmed al-Jaabari. "We in Hamas affirm that the Zionist enemy will bear responsibility for all the consequences and ramifications of this escalation and unsafe attack", Hamas said in a statement.

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.

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Israeli authorities said schools across southern Israel and the Tel Aviv region were closed after rockets reached the area.

It adds that the attack on Tuesday morning "will not pass without a punishment".

Rockets struck the south of Israel and warning sirens wailed in Tel Aviv, although there were no immediate reports of hits on the seaside city.

Other factions will not remain silent, especially Hamas, he said, stating that the Israeli army said that it was ready for a round of clashes lasting a couple of days.

Rocket attacks began shortly after the 5 a.m. killing of Abu al-Ata, a lot of them focused on Israeli towns and cities surrounding the northern Gaza Strip.

Islamic Jihad often carries out attacks independent of Hamas, the larger militant group that controls Gaza. "There was no other choice, " Conricus said.

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