I en felles operasjon mellom de militære og Shin Bet, ble lederen av Islamsk Hellig krig, Baha Abu Al-Ata drept i Gaza natt til tirsdag.
En time senere kom svaret fra Gaza:
Just over an hour after the strike, multiple rocket alerts sounded in southern Israel, including in Ashdod, Beit Elazari, Ashkelon, Zikim, Karmia, and as far north as Holon and Rishon Le Zion, in the suburbs of Tel Aviv, signalling a retaliation from Gaza militants is underway.
Operasjonen var nøye planlagt og godkjent av statsminister Netanyahu.
Baha Abu Al-Ata var en svoren fiende av Israel og trosset både Israel og Hamas.
«Ata was responsible for most attacks from the Gaza strip over the last year, including the days of battle close to Memorial Day [for Israel’s fallen soldiers], the shooting on the Sderot festival on August 25, 2019, and the last rocket barrage against Sderot on Friday, November 1, 2019,» the joint IDF-Shin Bet statement said, calling Ata «a ticking bomb.»
Ata hadde utviklet seg til en betydningsfull person på Gaza-stripen med flere hundre krigere og et arsenal av raketter til disposjon.
Israel var på et eller annet tidspunt nødt for å handle.
Baha Abu al-Ata, a leading figure in Islamic Jihad, has become a dominant figure in the Strip, recently associated with the rise and fall of tensions with Israel.
Ata headed the military council of the Al-Quds Brigade, which is the military arm of the Islamic Jihad. He commanded the organization’s operations in northern Gaza, but also wielded great influence on the southern front.
Ata had several hundred fighters under his command and an arsenal of dozens of rockets at his disposal that could be fired at Israel, sources in Gaza told Haaretz ahead of his targeted killing.