Israel killed Baha Abu al-Ata, commander of the Islamic Jihad group in the Gaza Strip early on Tuesday, sparking a fierce response from Gaza militants.
A planned joint operation between the Shin Bet security service and the Israel Defense Forces targeted Abu al-Ata's house, killing him and his wife. Both Islamic Jihad and Hamas vowed to retaliate, followed by a barrage of rockets at southern and central Israel.
Preparations were being made for further escalation, with schools and all non-essential work cancelled throughout the targeted areas. Local authorities were readying shelters, while Israel's political establishment showing solidarity for the civilian and military leadership.
Islamic Jihad threatened to respond forcefully to the assassination. "We promise to continue the fight, and our response will undoubtedly come to shake the foundations of the Zionist entity," the organization said, calling for general mobilization of its troops.
Hamas said that Israel bears all the responsibility for the consequences of killing Abu al-Ata. "This crime committed by Israel will not pass silently, and will be met with retaliation by the resistance forces," it said
9:44 A.M. One man lightly wounded in southern Israeli moshav after surface-to-surface rocket hit
9:36 A.M. A million students are not attending school on Tuesday, Education Ministry says
– Haaretz Weekly Ep. 48
Haaretz Weekly Ep. 48Haaretz
9:10 A.M. More than 50 rockets launched from Gaza, Israeli army says
As of this time, more than 50 rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israeli territory, according to the Israel army, adding that the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted 20.
9:03 A.M. Netanyahu to address the media at 10:30 A.M.
Netanyahu will deliver a statement with Israeli army Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi.