by: Kate Norman
Tuesday, 12 November 2019 | All day, Israel has endured a nearly uninterrupted stream of rockets from the Gaza Strip. The attacks began early Tuesday morning, hours after the Israeli military eliminated the head of one of the terrorist factions in the Strip, calling him an “imminent threat.”
So far dozens have been injured and two homes damaged under the barrage of more than 150 rockets that have been fired since 6 this morning. The rockets continue to come even as of writing this article. One million people in central and southern Israel have huddled in bomb shelters throughout the day as terrorists in the Gaza Strip are firing rockets indiscriminately into the Jewish state.
Already 39 people have been treated for injuries, Ynetnews reported. Two men were wounded by shrapnel—one when a rocket struck a highway near Ashdod during rush hour this morning. The rest were treated for anxiety or injuries incurred while scrambling to the nearest shelter.
Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted 50 of the projectiles, but two homes in communities bordering the enclave were damaged in separate barrages, though no injuries were reported from either attack. A factory and a toy store in Sderot caught fire, which firefighters worked hard to extinguish.
Under the roar of rocket sirens, life for the Israeli people screeched to a halt. Roads, schools, public transportation and businesses were closed. This morning, people in Tel Aviv heard loud explosions as the Iron Dome intercepted two rockets over the city. Often, rocket attacks are limited to the communities bordering the Strip, and attacks on Tel Aviv are rare.
Photos on social media show the effects of the attack on the people of Israel: young children coloring pictures in stairwells as they take cover; a young women—on her wedding day—crouching on the ground next to her stopped car on the side of the highway; the kitchen of a home destroyed and covered in debris after taking a direct hit from a rocket.
In response to the onslaught, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) struck Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) targets in the Gaza Strip this afternoon, including underground facilities and training camps, the Times of Israel reported.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fired at two Islamic Jihad operatives this morning on a motorcycle who were preparing to fire more rockets into the Jewish state. One of the militants was killed.
“We targeted them before they could target us,” the military said in a Tweet.
Early this morning, the IDF struck a building in Gaza to take out the commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and “remove an imminent threat.” A “ticking bomb,” Abu Al Ata was responsible for a majority of the attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers last year—and was planning more violence against the Jewish state, the Israeli military reported.
“Al Ata was directly responsible for hundreds of terror attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers,” the IDF posted to Twitter, announcing its overnight operation. “His next attack was imminent.” The terror commander was reportedly planning attacks to murder Israelis by sniper and drone attacks.
“He is the man who acted in every way to sabotage attempts for calm with Hamas,” IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi said in a televised address this morning. “He was a live ticking bomb, and even now he worked and planned attacks. He was responsible for the majority of attacks that took place over the last year.”
The operation to eliminate the terrorist was given the green light 10 days ago by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Security Cabinet, Netanyahu said in a televised announcement. The timing of the operation was left to the discretion of the IDF.
Describing it as a “surgical attack,” the IDF Spokesperson said the operation caused minimal casualties as the Israeli Air Force only struck the room where Al Ata was staying. The spokesperson stressed that the IDF did not want to escalate the conflict, “unless the other party takes such action.”
The secretary-general of the PIJ confirmed exactly how the terror entity is responding to the attack, however.
“We are going to war,” he told an Arabic news site, quoted by the Times of Israel. “Netanyahu has crossed all the red lines in assassinating Al-Quds Brigades [the military wing of the PIJ] Commander Baha Abu Al Ata. We will respond forcefully.”
Knowing the militants in Gaza would retaliate, the IDF was on high alert this morning and warned people to stay near shelters. The military proved correct when a few hours later, the barrage of rockets began.
Just after the Israeli military eliminated Al Ata in Gaza, Syria reported the bombing of a home in Damascus that belonged to a senior member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He survived the assassination attempt, but his son was killed. The terror entity blamed the attack on Israel, but the IDF followed its normal policy of declining to comment.
Amid the chaos, Israel’s new defense minister, Naftali Bennett, began his official service today at 11, meeting with military chiefs and security advisers in an underground bunker. Prime Minister Netanyahu had previously shouldered the task of keeping the Jewish state safe.
Bennett will have his hands full as the Israeli military is “preparing for escalation from the ground, air and sea,” IDF chief Kohavi said.
Posted on November 12, 2019
Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 12, 2019)
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