Israeli Strike Kills Another High-Level Islamic Jihad Commander

An Israeli strike early on Thursday reportedly killed the head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad's (PIJ) rocket launching force and two other militants in an apartment in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. The Israeli military said his deputy was also killed in a separate strike.

Israeli Strike Kills Another High-Level Islamic Jihad Commander
Image credit: AFP [via The Times of Israel]

Facts

  • An Israeli strike early on Thursday reportedly killed the head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad's (PIJ) rocket launching force and two other militants in an apartment in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. The Israeli military said his deputy was also killed in a separate strike.1
  • The deaths of the commander, identified as Ali Ghali, and his deputy are the fifth high-level PIJ senior leaders to be killed since Tuesday. Thursday's strikes reportedly killed 10 civilians, including six children.2
  • PIJ stated that Ghali was in charge of the group's rocket squad and a member of its paramilitary wing's decision-making body. The group has said it will only accept a cease-fire if Israel agrees to halt targeted killings of its fighters.3
  • Meanwhile, the Israeli military reported that Ghali was responsible for "directing and carrying out" rocket fire toward Israel, including the barrages in recent days, adding that "Ghali was considered a central figure in the organization and dealt with its routine management."4
  • Israeli airstrikes have continued into Thursday, with 29 Palestinians, including PIJ fighters, being killed and more than 90 being injured since this round of escalation began over two days ago.5
  • The Israeli military claimed that Palestinian militants have fired more than 500 rockets at southern and central Israel since Wednesday, and, in that time, has hit at least 133 targets in Gaza via airstrikes, including rocket- and mortar-launching sites and the militants who were preparing to use them.6

Sources: 1BBC News, 2Reuters, 3ABC News, 4The Times of Israel, 5Al Jazeera, and 6Wall Street Journal.

Narratives

  • Pro-Israel narrative, as provided by Jerusalem Post. Unfortunately, it seems that another Gaza war is on the horizon. Israel, which has always restrained itself to avoid unnecessary death, will respond aggressively if Palestinian Islamic Jihad attacks Israeli civilians and cities. Those killed in the recent strikes were high-ranking PIJ terrorists, and their elimination was necessary to ensure Israeli security. Indeed, Israel has the right to defend itself from Palestinian terror.
  • Pro-Palestine, as provided by Middle East Eye. Yet again, it looks like Israel is preparing for another ruthless war on Gaza as it seeks to engage in conflict by recklessly murdering Palestinians. Israel not only killed PIJ commanders, but their families as well, not to mention an innocent doctor and his family. Emboldened by international silence after killing more Palestinians last year than in any other calendar year since the Second Intifada, the occupation is becoming even more violent.