Top Islamic Jihad Commander Killed As 3,000 Total Rockets Were Fired From Gaza In 1st Week
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Monday that it has successfully assassinated top Islamic Jihad commander named Hussam Abu Harbeed in an airstrike on Gaza. Harbeed had been sought for 15 years after leading many attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians, including leading an operation which wounded an Israeli civilian last week by an anti-tank missile.
In a fresh statement the IDF said the terror group commander had been “behind several anti-tank missile terror attacks against Israeli civilians” – this also as separately an Israeli general said the army is capable of carrying on the fight in Gaza “forever” if need be.
Over the weekend, and at the close of the first week of fighting, the IDF tallied that about 3,000 total missiles have been launched from the Gaza Strip. In response the military has conducted hundreds of its own airstrikes which have utterly flattened multiple buildings and towers in Gaza, including days ago the international media building which housed the Associated Press and Al Jazeera, among others.
As of early Monday, Gaza’s Health Ministry counted 197 killed from the airstrikes, among them 58 children and 34 women. Over 1,200 more have been injured. On the Israeli side at least ten civilians have been killed from Gaza rocket fire, including a 5-year old.
Sunday appears to have marked the deadliest day with a massive death toll in Gaza, and as rescue teams search through the rubble:
At least 42 Palestinians, including a 1-year-old baby and a 3-year-old toddler, were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City early on Sunday morning, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said.
Dozens remained trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings in Gaza City’s upscale al-Rimal neighborhood, according to the Palestinian Civil Defense organization. Paramedics and rescue crews continued to seek to extract the dead and survivors.
“We’re hearing screams under the rubble,” a Civil Defense member told Al Jazeera. Under growing international pressure over the mounting civilian death toll, the IDF attempted to offer the rationale that Hamas and other militans are “deliberately” placing military personnel and weaponry in “the heart of its civilian population.”
The IDF released video of the airstrike which killed the senior Islamic Jihad commander…
This is the moment we targeted Islamic Jihad Northern Division Commander in Gaza, Hussam Abu Harbid.
As an Islamic Jihad commander for 15 years, he was behind rocket launches, shootings, & anti-tank missile attacks on Israel.
He won’t be committing any more terrorist attacks. pic.twitter.com/hbwFsSjjq3
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 17, 2021
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed this, saying Sunday, “Our campaign against the terrorist organizations is continuing with full force,” He said Israeli warplanes have struck a total 1,500 sites in the strip and cautioned the military operation “will yet take time”.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz also put out a statement over the weekend: “Israel has no interest in escalation, but is ready for any scenario,” he tweeted.
Israeli airstrikes in Gaza have killed at least 198 Palestinians — about 1 in 3 were children.
42 people were killed on Sunday. One man lost his wife and 4 of 5 children: “I heard my son Zain calling: ‘Daddy, daddy…’ I couldn’t turn to look at him because I was trapped.” pic.twitter.com/8LfbeJzqo6
— AJ+ (@ajplus) May 17, 2021
Meanwhile the IDF also says it’s in the midst of a fierce tunnel destroying campaign, having now destroyed over 9-miles of the “terror tunnel” network used by Hamas to penetrate Israeli defenses.
Netanyahu had also acknowledged this in the past days: “I said we would strike Hamas and other terror groups very hard – and we’re doing that,” he stated. “In the past 24 hours, we struck underground targets; Hamas thinks they can hide there, and they cannot hide there.
Mon, 05/17/2021 – 09:33