Israel strikes and kills another top Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces struck and killed a senior operative of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group in the Gaza Strip on Saturday night, military officials said.

Khaled Mansour was killed in an Israeli airstrike in the Palestinian town of Rafah, officials say. The terror group confirmed his death in a statement on Sunday morning.

He was the southern Gaza counterpart of Tayseer Jabari, the commander of the terror group in northern Gaza, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike on Friday.

Jabari’s killing was the first strike of the IDF’s Operation Breaking Dawn. Since then, the PIJ has launched more than 580 rockets into Israel, according to IDF estimates.

The Israeli military released video of the airstrike on Sunday morning which it said killed Mansour, along with the commander of the Rafah terror brigade, Khattab Amassi, and Mansour’s deputy, Ziad Madalal.

The chief of the army’s operations directorate, Major General Oded Basiuk, said that according to “all available information”, Israel had now killed all senior PIJ ranks.

Last week, the IDF arrested the leader of the terror group in the West Bank.

“This organization attempted to carry out a deadly attack against Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers by launching an anti-tank guided missile, aimed at killing civilians and soldiers,” Basiuk told a press conference outside the headquarters. from the Tsahal to Tel Aviv.

“We knocked and outwitted the chain of command [who sought to] carry out this attack,” he said, referring to the assassinations of Jabari and Mansour.

Basiuk said that “according to all the information we have, [Mansour] has been [struck] with others.

Maj. Gen. Oded Basiuk issues a statement outside IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, August 6, 2022. (Screen capture: Channel 12 News)

“All the senior ranks of the PIJ’s armed wing in Gaza were [struck]said Basiuk.

Mansour was also responsible for numerous rocket attacks against Israel, according to military officials.

Illustrative: Palestinian terrorists fire rockets at Israel in Gaza City, Saturday, August 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

The Israeli Air Force has carried out numerous strikes in Gaza targeting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group as part of the operation launched on Friday to tackle what Israeli leaders have described as an immediate concrete threat from the PIJ for Israeli communities.

The operation was launched after several days of closures and lockdowns in Israeli communities near the Strip due to warnings of an impending attack, with the PIJ seeking revenge for the arrest of its West Bank leader earlier in the year. the week.

Israeli leaders said the operation began because the PIJ refused to back down from its plans to attack Israeli targets on the border.

Gaza’s health ministry said on Saturday the death toll from the latest violence in the territory had risen to 24, including six children, but Israel denied carrying out a new strike that reportedly killed seven of them, including children. children.

Meanwhile, the IDF has begun calling up reservists to bolster its Southern Command, Home Front Command, air defense network and combat troops in the event of further escalation. Defense Minister Benny Gantz has approved the call-up of 25,000 reserve troops, his office said.

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