Islamic militants in the Gaza Strip sent a barrage of more than 200 rockets into Israel Tuesday and vowed further revenge after the Israeli military carried out a pair of targeted airstrikes on senior Islamic Jihad commanders, killing one in Gaza and missing the second in Syria. An Israeli airstrike killed Baha Abu al-Ata, 42, and his wife as they slept in their home in eastern Gaza Tuesday, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, said. Conricus added that Abu al-Ata was responsible for a number of recent rocket attacks on southern Israel and claimed he was actively planning new attacks. "Baha Abu Al Ata was the senior commander of Islamic Jihad in Gaza, responsible for most attacks emanating from Gaza over the last year," IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi said Tuesday. "He was a ticking time-bomb ... there was a window of opportunity that we utilized precisely."
Israeli military says two rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system; Trey Yingst reports from Gaza. Israel's military announced Friday that it had carried out a series of airstrikes on a terrorist group's facilities in Gaza hours after a barrage of rockets were fired into its territory. The strikes in the early-morning hours hit a compound, rocket-manufacturing site and headquarters of the Islamic Jihad militant group in the town of Khan Younis, the Associated Press reported, citing a statement from Israel's army. A separate Israeli airstrike carried out in Deir al-Balah is reported to have killed eight people, including two women and five children under the age of 13. That strike apparently targeted the home of an Islamic Jihad commander who was not there at the time, the AP says.
Israel shot down "a target" over the Golan Heights, hours after it was accused of a missile strike at a military site near Damascus international airport. Israel deployed its Patriot missile defence system and media reported the target was a drone. The earlier strike had damaged what Syrian rebels said was an arms depot run by Lebanon's Hezbollah movement. Israel said the explosion was "consistent" with its policy. But it stopped short of confirming it was responsible.
Gaza City - A fraught quiet has settled over the Gaza Strip after a night of Israeli air raids on the besieged coastal enclave following a rocket strike on a home in central Israel. An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, announced around 19:00 GMT on Monday, was confirmed by a Hamas spokesperson, but the exchange of fire between armed groups in Gaza and the Israeli military continued until just before dawn on Tuesday, residents in the strip said. The latest flare-up took place after a long-range missile was fired from Gaza into the Israeli community of Mishmeret - 20km north of Tel Aviv - early Monday morning, wounding seven people. No group from Gaza has claimed responsibility, but Israel blamed Hamas, the movement that rules the strip, and deployed tanks and reservists at the Israeli fence east of the Gaza Strip. Throughout Monday night, Israeli warplanes targeted Hamas and Islamic Jihad positions with air raids.
JERUSALEM – If Islamic militants in Gaza or Lebanon go to war with Israel, they could find their usual targets empty. Israel is drawing up contingency plans to evacuate up to a quarter-million civilians from border communities to protect them from attacks from Hamas, Hezbollah or other Islamic militant groups. The mass evacuations would be the biggest in Israel's history, part of a bigger plan where the army works with municipalities to keep civilians safe. All sides have been preparing in case a new round of warfare breaks out, although Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed group sworn to Israel's destruction, currently is tied down in Syria's civil war fighting in support of President Bashar Assad. It also comes amid an uptick in tensions between Israel, Syria and Hezbollah.