A overnight operation targeted Baha Abu al-Atta. For president Rivlin the operation is a guarantee of the "security" of the country. Netanyahu: ready to carry out "new attacks in the near future". The extremist group promises revenge: we will "shake the Zionist entity". Southern Israel on maximum alert.
Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Israeli special forces killed Baha Abu al-Atta, commander of an extremist Islamic Jihad group, in a targeted operation overnight in Gaza. His wife died together with two neighbors in the Sajaya neighborhood. In a note the Israeli military command emphasizes that "his home was attacked" in the context of a "joint operation of our armed forces and secret services".
One of the first official comments was that of Israeli president Reuven Rivlin, who confirmed his support for the "security forces" who worked "for the success of this morning's operation". He added that "the Israeli government" has "approved" the operation that has the objective of "security" in the country.
The death of the Palestinian military leader is confirmed by Israel and by the same leaders of the fighting movement. Abu al-Atta was responsible for much of the military activity of Islamic Jihad in Gaza. For Israel he was considered a "time bomb" because he was planning new terrorist attacks on the territory.
"He had trained commands called to infiltrate Israel and selected shooters, as well as drones and rocket launches," reports a source. The same military source adds that the commander was responsible for most of the attacks and rocket fire coming from the Strip. Israeli interim prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself said in a statement that Abu al-Atta "was preparing to carry out new attacks in the near future".
However, the leaders of the Israeli army wanted to point out that this action in the Strip does not mean a resumption of "targeted executions" in Gaza. A clarification, analysts and experts explain, which is read as a message addressed primarily to Hamas, which controls the area, according to which Israel wants to limit operations to Islamic Jihad.
The response from the extremist group was immediate, stating that it intends to "avenge" the death of its commander. "Our reaction - they warn in a note - will make the Zionist entity tremble." The political leader of Islamic Jihad Ziad Nahale accuses Israel of "having crossed all the red lines" and that "we will react strongly". From the minarets there are repeated appeals for revenge.
The threat that immediately took shape with the launching of dozens of rockets from the Strip towards Israel and that triggered the general alert across the border, with alarm sirens that rang out over a vast area in the south of the country, up to Tel Aviv. Hundreds of thousands of people have been ordered to stay near shelters and sheltered rooms in their apartments to protect themselves from Palestinian rockets.