World Israel strikes Hamas sites in Gaza as cease-fire efforts at risk
Israel kills Palestinian militant commander in Gaza strike
Israel's military killed a commander for Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad in a strike on his home in the Gaza Strip early Tuesday, officials said, prompting retaliatory rocket fire. Islamic Jihad's armed wing announced the death in a statement, after Israel confirmed it had targeted Baha Abu Al-Ata, 42, in a strike. Islamic Jihad's armed wing announced the death in a statement, after Israel confirmed it had targeted Baha Abu Al-Ata, 42, in a strike. The group said Ata's wife was also killed.
JERUSALEM —Israeli forces struck multiple targets controlled by the ruling Hamas faction in the Gaza Strip on Saturday after rockets were fired from the territory, potentially jeopardizing afollowing two days of intense exchanges.
The flare-up occurred as Israel’s military said it was investigating one of the deadliest attacks of the recent fighting, a strike on a family house Thursday that may have been a case of mistaken targeting.
Saturday’s strikes marked the first time Israel had hit Hamas sites during the recent clashes, having limited its previous attacks to assets of a rival Islamic Jihad faction in Gaza. Hamas, in a departure from previous episodes of violence, had largely stayed out of the fray.
Fear and sorrow in Gaza and Israel after another escalation
Sirens wailed, residents ran to bomb shelters and both sides feared yet another war as an Israeli targeted strike killing an Islamic Jihad commander in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday sparked exchanges of fire. The dawn raid killed Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu Al-Ata and his wife, triggering waves of rocket fire into Israel which sent residents rushing for cover across the south and centre of the country. Israel blamed Ata for previous rocket fire and other attacks against it, calling him a "ticking bomb" who was planning more violence.
But the army said that changed in the early hours Saturday when at least two rockets soared toward the Negev Desert city of Beersheba, sparking air raid sirens shortly after 1 a.m. Both projectiles were shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system.
Hamas did not claim responsibility for the launch. But the Israeli military said the rockets came from Hamas launchers and retaliated with air attacks on a Hamas military camp, a naval facility and “an underground terror infrastructure,” according to a statement.
“Hamas fired tonight, aiming to kill Israeli civilians, and therefore we fired back at their military targets,” Lt. Col Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces, said in an interview.
Netanyahu tells Islamic Jihad 'stop these attacks or absorb more blows'
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza must stop rocket attacks or "absorb more and more blows" as an escalation of violence raged for a second day. "They have one choice: to stop these attacks or absorb more and more blows. Their choice," Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting, adding that Israel was not seeking a further escalation.He reiterated his warning that "this could take time" and said Israel would respond to attacks "without mercy.
The week’s hostilities, which saw 34 Palestinians killed and sent Israelis to bomb shelters as hundreds of rockets rained down, began Tuesday after Israel killed an Islamic Jihad commander in Northern Gaza with a pinpoint strike on his bedroom. His wife was also killed.
Israel blamed the commander, Baha Abu al-Ata, for most of the rocket attacks and other terrorist activity emanating from Gaza in recent months and said he was actively preparing to launch more. After two days of attack and reprisal between Islamic Jihad and Israel, an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire Thursday mostly ended the barrage.
Israeli officials had hailed the precision effectiveness of the campaign that damaged Islamic Jihad’s military capacity, killed 25 active militants and resulted in minimal civilian casualties, according to the army.
Deadly Israel-Gaza escalation rages for second day
Exchanges of fire triggered by Israel's targeted killing of a top militant in Gaza raged for a second day Wednesday and showed little sign of easing, with 22 Palestinians killed. Exchanges of fire triggered by Israel's targeted killing of a top militant in Gaza raged for a second day Wednesday and showed little sign of easing, with 22 Palestinians killed.
But those claims were upended Friday when it became clear that one of the final strikes of the operation destroyed not a vacant militant target but the home of a family, killing eight, including five children.
An IDF spokesman initially claimed one of the men killed, Rasmi Abu Malhous, was an Islamic Jihad commander. But neighbors of the family told media in Gaza that the man had no affiliation with the militant group.
IDF sources further told Israeli media they thought they were targeting an empty structure that had military value and did not expect it to be occupied by a family. The military has launched an investigation.
“According to the information available to the IDF at the time of the strike, no civilians were expected to be harmed as a result of the strike,” the IDF said in a statement. “Initial information showed that an Islamic Jihad operative was killed in the strike, apparently a commander in the Islamic Jihad rocket unit. … The subject of his identity, as well as the harm caused to civilians by the strike, is being further reviewed.”
Two sandy pits were all that marked the site of two adjacent houses destroyed in the attack in Deir al-Balah, a rural section of Gaza. Almost no traces remained of the tin and plastic structures that house as many as 13 on any given night.
Israeli military says it's 'raining rockets' from Gaza; Islamic Jihad launching one every 7 minutes since leader killed
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Wednesday that it is “raining rockets” across the country, with Islamic Jihad firing one projectile every seven minutes since a senior commander of the terror group was killed by the Israeli military in a targeted airstrike Tuesday morning.Bahu Abu al-Ata, 42, and his wife were killed as they slept in their home in eastern Gaza, IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said. Conricus added that Ata was responsible for a number of recent rocket attacks on southern Israel and claimed he was actively planning new attacks.
Standing nearby, Abu Malhous’s friends and family said the man was not connected to the militant group, nor was his brother, who was seriously injured. Abu Malhous was a retired Palestinian Authority employee, he said.
“My father has nothing to do with any political organization, and my uncle is an agricultural worker,” said Abu Malhous’s son Mohammed Rasmi Sawarkh, 19.
Sawarkh said he was sleeping in a house nearby when an explosion rocked the area. He rushed over to find his father and one of his father’s two wives and several others dead. Children ranging in age from 13 to a toddler were also killed. Other family members in nearby houses were injured he said.
“There is no justification for the Israeli bombing,” Sawarkh said. “I don’t know how they can kill two entire families, all children and women.”
Muhammad Tafesh 44, a friend of Abu Malhous, said he rushed to the site when he heard the explosion. He said his friend was no militant, although one of his brothers, who lived nearby and was injured in the blast, may have had low-level connections to Islamic Jihad.
“Rasmi never had any affiliation with [Islamic Jihad],” Tafesh said. “Maybe his brother Said, but even Said is not a senior at Islamic Jihad.”
“I don’t know what the value of killing a whole family, even if there is a wanted person,” he said.
Balousha reported from Deir al-Balah.
Israel and Syria exchange fire, Syrian aerial defense batteries destroyed, Israeli military says .
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that the Israeli military carried out “wide-scale strikes” of targets in Syria belonging to Iranian forces and the Syrian regime on Wednesday, in response to the four rockets launched into Israel in the overnight hours. © JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty Images Israeli soldiers and armoured vehicles are pictured on November 19, 2019 near the border with Syria in the annexed Golan Heights. - Israel's anti-missile defence system intercepted four rockets fired from neighbouring Syria on Tuesday, the army said.
Israel Airstrike Hits Vehicle of Hamas Commander
A Hamas commander in the Gaza Strip was killed by an Israeli airstrike on his car, Sunday, May 5. Palestinians gather around the burning vehicle trying to ...
Palestinians Bury Family of Eight Killed in Fighting
Hundreds of Palestinian mourners participated in a funeral procession on Thursday, November 14, for eight members of a Gaza family who were killed by an ...