The apartment in which Bahaa al-Ata was targeted in northern Gaza. (Majdi Fathi/TPS) (Majdi Fathi/TPS)
Bahaa al-Ata assassination

School was canceled and businesses shut down in most of the south and in the Tel Aviv area on Tuesday morning. Ben Gurion International Airport has been placed on high alert.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

The IDF early Tuesday morning targeted and eliminated senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata in the northern Gaza Strip.

In a precession targeting, the IDF hit the apartment where he was staying in Gaza. His wife was killed in the strike and some of his children were injured.

Al-Ata was responsible for many terrorist attacks and the firing of rockets on Israel in recent months and had intended to carry out imminent attacks, including incursions into Israel, the IDF stated.

The IDF’s action, recommended by IDF Chief-of-Staff Aviv Kochavi and Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) Director Nadav Argaman, was approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after it had been approved by the Security Cabinet last week.

“Senior Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata was targeted overnight in Gaza. He was responsible for many terrorist attacks and the firing of rockets at the State of Israel in recent months and had intended to carry out imminent attacks,” according to a statement Tuesday morning from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“The IDF action was recommended by the IDF Chief-of-Staff and ISA Director and was approved by the Prime Minister and Defense Minister after it had been presented to – and approved by – the Security Cabinet,” the statement read.

In a veiled threat, the IDF in April published al-Ata’s photo and announced he was responsible for rockets attacks at the time.

The IDF also targeted Akram Ajouri, a senior Islamic Jihad official, in Damascus, early Tuesday morning. Reports indicate he was not killed in the attack, but his son was. Ajouri was the liaison between al-Ata and Iran.

Gazan terrorists have launched dozens of rockets at Israel since the morning and air-raid sirens were heard across central and southern Israel, including in Tel Aviv. Several of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense systems, and two rockets directly hit their targets in Sderot.

No one was injured by the rockets, but a few people were treated for shock or after falling while running for shelter.

School was canceled and businesses shut down in most of the south and in the Tel Aviv area. Ben Gurion International Airport has been placed on high alert.

Several roads around the Gaza Strip were closed to Israelis.

The IDF announced that all crossings from Gaza were shut down and that the fishing zone off the coast of Gaza is limited until further notice.

PIJ has threatened to escalate its strikes against Israel later on Tuesday, after al-Ata’s funeral.

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