Fresh Israeli airstrike in Gaza kills Islamic Jihad commander
A fresh Israeli airstrike on an apartment in the Gaza Strip on Thursday killed a senior commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) militant group, according to sources.
Gaza: A fresh Israeli airstrike on an apartment in the Gaza Strip on Thursday killed a senior commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) militant group, according to sources.
Palestinian security officials confirmed that Ali Hassan Ghali, the head of the PIJ’s missile unit, was killed after two Israeli suicide drones attacked his apartment in the Hamad Residential City, near Khan Younis, reports Xinhua news agency.
The officials said that his brother Mahmoud Ghali and their nephew Mahmoud Mansour, who were also in the apartment, were killed in the drone attack.
Palestinian medics at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis said that three Palestinians were brought dead to the hospital and 15 were injured following the strikes.
Al-Quds Brigades, the PIJ armed wing, confirmed the development, calling the Israeli airstrikes “a treacherous Zionist assassination operation”.
Israel’s military also confirmed that it had targeted Ghali and what it called two “other PIJ operatives in Gaza”.
They described the commander as a central figure in the PIJ who had been “responsible for the recent rocket barrages launched against Israel”.
The latest attacks came two days after Israeli drones and fighter jets carried out simultaneous airstrikes on several buildings in the Gaza Strip, killing three senior PIJ members.
On Wednesday, efforts taken by the mediators Egypt, Qatar and the UN failed to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and the PIJ to end the latest escalation, which has so far killed 24 people dead and injured more than 70 others.
On Wednesday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the country campaign was not over, reports the BBC.
“We have hit Islamic Jihad with the most significant blow it has ever suffered,” he said, referring to the killing of the three PIJ commanders on Tuesday.
The PIJ is the second biggest militant group in Gaza after Hamas, and has been responsible for many of the rocket attacks on Israel in recent years.
This week’s airstrikes were the deadliest since three days of hostilities between Israel and PIJ last August, in which 49 Palestinians were killed in Gaza.
PIJ and other groups fired more than 100 rockets into Israel over two days last week, following the death in an Israeli prison of a Palestinian hunger striker.
The Israeli military carried out airstrikes on sites it said were linked to Hamas in response.
Tensions also remained high in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, after Israel carried out arrest raids.
Two Palestinians were killed in the town of Qabatiya by Israeli forces, who said the pair had fired at them.
An Israeli soldier was also seriously wounded during a separate exchange of fire with Palestinian gunmen in Tubas.