Israeli Military Assassinates Islamic Jihad Commander In Gaza Air Raid
 Israeli Military Assassinates Islamic Jihad Commander In Gaza Air RaidAbu Al-Ata (Pic Via Twitter)

Israeli forces assassinated a senior leader of an Iran-backed militant group in the blockaded Gaza Strip in an early morning air strike on Tuesday (12 November) even as the armed groups retailated by firing rockets towards Israel.

Palestinian group Islamic Jihad announced that 42-year old Bahaa Abu al-Atta, one of its key commanders, was killed in an Israeli air raid on his home. The group also claimed that Israel attacked the home of one of its political leaders in the Syrian capital, Damascus. Al-Atta's wife was also killed  and at least two others wounded in the blast that ripped through the building in Gaza City's Shejaiya district in the wee hours of morning.Israeli military confirmed the killing of Al-Ata and said that he was a “ticking time bomb” responsible for several rocket attacks into southern Israel in the past few months.

Israeli military said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had authorised the military operation against al-Atta, blaming him for recent rocket, drone and sniper attacks against Israel, and attempted infiltrations into the country.

Many experts believe that the targetted assasination by Israel marks a dangerous escalation in the ongoing conflict. Within minutes of the killing, a salvo of rockets was launched into Israel as air raid sirens sounded across southern and central parts of the country, including the commercial capital Tel Aviv, the Israeli military and witnesses said.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad said in a statement vowed revenge “Our inevitable retaliation will rock the Zionist entity,”

Islamic Jihad is seen as a rival of Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip but they are also known to collaborate during hostilities with Israel.

Syrian state media said that Israel launched a missile attack targeting the home of an Islamic Jihad functionary in Damascus, killing one of his sons.

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