Taysir al Jabari: Israel Kills Islamic Jihad Leader in Large-Scale Bombing of Gaza | International
After four wars and countless skirmishes in the last 15 years, Gaza has suffered this Friday a large-scale Israeli bombardment in which they have Noted Islamic Jihad leader killed and at least eight other Palestinians, including a five-year-old boy. The selective assassination occurs after four days of strict military blockade of the Strip by Israel, which feared retaliation against border populations as a result of the arrest, last Monday, of the head of the Iranian-allied militia in the West Bank. The Israeli Armed Forces hastened to baptize the operation on Gaza as Dawn Breaking, in a clear sign that hostilities threaten to drag on.
The Al Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, cried out for revenge after confirming in a statement the death of commander Taysir al Jabari, better known as Abu Mahmud, in the Israeli attack. Al Jabari, a military commander in the northern part of the Strip, was considered one of the most prominent leaders of the second largest Islamist militia in Gaza, which maintains close contact with the Tehran regime. This latest selective assassination resembles that of his predecessor in the post, commander Baha Abu al-Ata, who was killed by Israel in 2019 in a special operation in which his wife also died, without the intervention of the Islamist movement Hamas, which controls hegemonically the coastal enclave. Jihad militants have recently launched anti-tank rocket attacks on Israeli vehicles around the enclave.
Palestinian televisions showed buildings reduced to rubble and thick plumes of smoke over the capital of Gaza. Local authorities declared a state of emergency while health services evacuated the victims of the bombings to hospitals, which have caused at least eight deaths and 40 injuries, according to a provisional count by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. The top leader of Islamic Jihad, Ziad al Najala, has promised that he will order retaliation. “There are no red lines, and Tel Aviv and other cities are going to suffer the weight of our rockets,” he told the Lebanese Al Mayadin television channel, controlled by the pro-Iranian Hebollah militia, Reuters reports.
The Army’s National Defense Command, which covers civil defense, declared a “special situation” in an area of 80 kilometers around the Palestinian Strip, where residents must remain in safe places and road and rail communications are cut from on Tuesday. After urgently convening a security committee, the Israeli Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, announced that the Armed Forces are acting to “eliminate the threats that operate on citizens” around Gaza. “Whoever tries to harm Israel should know that sooner or later we will find him,” he warned.
Fear of reprisals in Israeli populations
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The preventive attack, in which there has been no Palestinian aggression, has been carried out for fear of armed reprisals for the arrest earlier this week of Bassam al Saadi, the military chief of the Islamic Jihad in the West Bank, in the Jenin area (north of the occupied Palestinian territory). Israel sealed all the crossings it controls on the Gaza border. A military statement He assured that “about 15 Islamic Jihad operatives” had been killed in the bombings, in the absence of a definitive balance. Air and artillery shelling continued as of Friday evening in the southern Gaza Strip, the Hebrew press reported.
Gaza suffered the last large-scale Israeli attack in May last year, in an offensive that lasted 11 days and claimed the lives of more than 250 Palestinians, including 67 minors, and 13 others inside Israeli territory. The Israeli authorities have ordered the diversion of the approach and takeoff routes to the David Ben Gurion international airport, in the Tel Aviv area, due to the danger of rocket launches from the Palestinian Strip. In last year’s conflict, Islamist militias fired waves of thousands of projectiles from the enclave. Batteries of the Iron Dome missile defense system have already been deployed in central Israel.
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