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IDF kills Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza; rockets fired at central Israel

Bahaa Abu-el Atta killed in first targeted killing by Israel since the end of the 2014 Gaza conflict; Netanyahu says he was poised to launch attacks against country with support from Iran; schools cancelled across south, center

The IDF killed Islamic Jihad commander Bahaa Abu al-Atta in a Gaza airstrike overnight Monday, in a resumption of targeted killing for the first time since 2014. The strike was followed hours later by rocket fire across southern and central Israel.

The Iranian-backed Palestinian group confirmed Tuesday that Abu al-Atta, its north Gaza Strip commander, was killed and vowed to avenge his death.

Schools will remain closed Tuesday in the Gaza border area, in the cities of Be’er Sheva and Ashkelon and across the center of the country.

This is the first incident of targeted killing by Israel since the end of the 2014 Gaza conflict, Operation Protective Edge.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Islamic Jihad commander was poised to launch imminent attacks against Israel.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit released a statement confirming the attack was a coordinated effort by the IDF and the Shin Bet security agency.

Gaza’s Health Ministry says a man and a woman have been killed in the blast and two other people were wounded.

The airstrike damaged half of the second and most of the third floors of a house in the Shejaeya neighborhood east of the city.

Israel media reported lately that Abu el-Atta was responsible for recent rocket attacks against southern Israel communities, instructed by Tehran.

Ynet News, Agencies

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