Israel kills top Islamic Jihad terrorist in Gaza and announces official military operation

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The top Islamic Jihad terrorist in the Gaza Strip was killed on Friday in a coordinated preemptive strike by the security forces. Israeli militaryThis was announced at a briefing for foreign media by a representative of the Israeli army.

Israeli Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht said “anti-tank units were on the move and we took the initiative to launch a coordinated strike as a preemptive measure.”

The strikes come after days of tension and threats from the terrorist group following Israel’s arrest Monday of Bassem Saadi, a senior Islamic Jihad leader in the West Bank.

Taysir Jabari speaks to Islamic Jihad supporters during a ceremony in Gaza City, Gaza, November 12, 2021. Jabari was killed in an IDF operation on Friday.

Taysir Jabari speaks to Islamic Jihad supporters during a ceremony in Gaza City, Gaza, November 12, 2021. Jabari was killed in an IDF operation on Friday.
(Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS)

Fighter jets and armed drones reportedly hit six targets on Friday afternoon, killing Taysir Jabari, a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander of the terrorist group’s North Gaza division, and head of an anti-tank guided missile complex. and several terrorist units in the midst of preparing attacks against Israel, the IDF said.

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The Gaza Health Ministry said at least five other people were killed in the strikes, including a 5-year-old girl.

Israeli Joint Statement Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Secretary Benny Gantz said the operation was intended to eliminate “the threat to Israeli citizens and civilians living near the Gaza Strip, and to eliminate terrorists and their sponsors.”

“The Israeli government will not allow terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip to set the agenda in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip and threaten the citizens of the State of Israel,” Lapid said. “Anyone who tries to harm Israel should know: we will find you.”

In a statement sent to Fox News Digital, Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, spoke out, noting that the mission was carried out “due to an attempted attack on Israeli civilians by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”

The ambassador stated that “Israel was forced to launch a military operation with targeted strikes to prevent their rocket attacks from Gaza.”

“Palestinian Islamic Jihad is a radical terrorist proxies of the Ayatollah regime in Iran, and its clearly stated goal is the destruction of the State of Israel,” Erdan continued, adding that “terrorists deliberately fire missiles at Israeli citizens, committing war crimes.”

The ambassador then said that “Israel expects the international community and the United Nations to stop making false, immoral comparisons between law-abiding democracy and radical terrorist organizations and uphold Israel’s right to protect its citizens.”

IDF spokesman Hecht indicated that the army had not yet completed its military operation and that “we assume there will be rocket attacks on central Israel, but we don’t know yet.”

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He said that reserve soldiers had been mobilized from the north of the country, and the Iron Dome defense system was now fully operational in the south and center of the country.

Tension comes more than a year after Israel went to war 14 day war with Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Palestinian enclave, inflicting hundreds of rocket attacks on cities and towns in southern Israel.

The aftermath of an attack on a building where IDF planes attacked a senior terrorist leader in Gaza, Friday.

The aftermath of an attack on a building where IDF planes attacked a senior terrorist leader in Gaza, Friday.
(Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS)

The army said that Jabari had recently carried out anti-tank missile attacks on Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. “Jabari was a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander and held a number of positions within the terrorist organization, including as chief of operations,” the army said in a statement. “He was entrusted with making many decisions within the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization and was responsible for numerous terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.”

“Islamic Jihad anti-tank missile squads have been trying to hit Israeli civilians for days, forcing thousands of Israelis into hiding,” Amir Avivi, CEO of the Israel Defense and Security Forum (IDSF), told Fox News Digital.

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“In the end, these terrorists left the IDF no choice but to launch a preemptive strike against the ground units and the senior operatives who led them,” added Avivi, a former deputy commander of an Israeli army division in the Gaza Strip.

During a round of fighting in May 2021, the army claimed that Jabari was responsible for launching “a large number of rockets into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip and was responsible for a Palestinian Islamic Jihad attack that injured a civilian.”

Talia Kaplan of Fox News contributed to this report.