Israeli Strike in Syria Kills Two Islamic Jihad Operatives After Gaza Rocket Barrage at South

Islamic Jihad confirmed early Monday morning that two operatives were killed in Israeli airstrikes on targets belonging to the organization in Syria.

Israel Defense Forces struck targets in the Gaza Strip and Syria on Sunday night after Islamic Jihad fired a barrage of nearly 30 rockets into southern Israel in response to the death of one of its operatives, who was shot by Israeli forces after they said he was laying an explosive charge near the Gaza border fence.

– Haaretz Weekly Ep. 64

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 64Haaretz

"Israeli fighter jets struck Islamic Jihad terror targets south of Damascus, as well as across the Gaza Strip," the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said in a statement, adding that a fighter jet struck an Islamic Jihad cell while it was preparing to fire rockets at Israel.

Gaza's Health Ministry said four Palestinians were wounded in the enclave, without providing further details.

According to the army, the targets it hit near Damascus were facilities used by Islamic Jihad to develop weapons, produce rocket fuel and train fighters. The targets hit in Gaza included the Khan Yunis headquarters of Islamic Jihad and strategic storage sites in the neighboring city of Rafah, on the Egyptian border. 

A ball of fire is seen following an Israel airstrike at Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip early on February 23, 2020AFP

In a statement, Islamic Jihad said the operatives' "deaths will be avenged and that the attack in Damascus is a proof of the Israeli failure to deal with Islamic Jihad fighters in the battlefield."  The organization, however, denied that senior official Akram Ajuri's had been killed, as was circulated on social media earlier.    

Following these recent developments, main roads near the Gaza border fence will be blocked, the Israeli army said Monday early morning.