Live: Gaza in flames as Israel kills senior Islamic Jihad official

Israel targeted 2 senior Islamic Jihad officials early this morning, one in Gaza and another in Syria, follow our blog to keep abreast of the events on the ground

The following is a live blog from our correspondents in Gaza.Last Updated: 20:08  UK condemns Gaza rocket fire, calls on both sides to ‘rapidly de-escalate’

The British Foreign Office condemns rocket fire by Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip at Israel and calls on both sides to “rapidly de-escalate” tensions.

“We are deeply concerned by the escalation of hostilities in Gaza. The UK condemns the firing of rockets at civilian populations. Any attacks targeted against civilians are unlawful and unjustifiable,” it says in a statement.

The Foreign Office adds: “We call on all sides to rapidly de-escalate the situation, and support the UN and Egyptian efforts to achieve that objective.”

UK in Israel 



Gaza hostilities:
UK condemns firing of rockets at civilians and calls on all sides to de-escalate the situation …


Gaza hostilities: UK statement

UK condemns firing of rockets at civilians and calls on all sides to de-escalate the 2519:00 – 12 Nov 2019 · IsraelTwitter Ads information and privacy   18:35Death toll of Israeli attacks on Gaza rises to 7

Israeli airstrike just killed 2 Palestinians, another leaves 5 wounded

Five people wounded in an Israeli airstrike east of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip.

They were admitted to the European Hospital in Gaza.

Two people have been killed in an Israeli airstrike north of the Gaza Strip.

They were named:

Abdullah al Bolbeesi, 26, and Abdul-Salam Ahmed, 28.

Since the early morning, Israeli occupation has murdered seven Palestinians and wounded over 45 others in airstrikes across the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Israeli constant attack on Gaza – Cartoon    18:16“These terrorist crimes are a new aggression against the Palestinian people and the declaration of a new Israeli war on them”

READ: Israel murders senior Islamic Jihad official and his wife in Gaza

  18:15Jordan decries Israeli targeted killing in Gaza

Jordan’s foreign ministry condemned the Israeli strike in Gaza that killed Islamic Jihad official.

The killing of Bahaa Abu Al-Ata set off the ongoing bombing attacks in Gaza, which has so far resulted to seven Palestinian deaths.

In a statement, Daifallah Al-Fayez, a spokesman for the Jordanian foreign ministry, blamed Israel for the ensuing escalation in violence.

He said the fighting “will only increase tension and violence, deepen the environment of despair and promote extremist agendas in the region.”

He called for Israel and the Palestinians to return to negotiations, saying that talks, along with an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, could bring justice for Gaza.  18:11Israel hopes to gain what, exactly, with its resumption of assassinations?

Despite the justifications provided by Israel for the resumption of “targeted killings”, it wants to cover up the security establishment’s failures on all fronts, whether in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Lebanon or Syria. What does it hope to gain by such operations? Israel is more aware than anyone else that killing leading Palestinians generates more hatred and provides more motives for revenge.

The Prime Minister will either go for a third General Election in less than a year that might not give him the chance to form the next government; spend the rest of his life in prison for corruption; or be ousted by the Likud party because his presence hinders the formation of a unity government with the Blue and White Party. This killing portrays him, he hopes, as the strongman that Israel needs to be in charge.

Read more at:  17:13Egypt attempts to ease tensions as Israel calls up reserves

Egyptian officials say Cairo is attempting to de-escalate tensions between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza.

The officials claim Egypt’s general intelligence agency has stepped up communications and has “opened channels” with the US and the European Union.

Egypt often acts as a mediator between Israel and Gaza militants, and brokered a ceasefire deal in May, which appeared threatened after Israel killed a senior Islamic Jihad official this morning and four other Palestinians in the besieged Strip.

Israel’s Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) party said it has cancelled a “special Knesset session” scheduled to be held tomorrow due to the “growing violence”.

The government has called up a few hundred reservists from different units to the area near the Gaza Strip.

In response, Hamas and Islamic Jihad said the revenge for Abu Al-Ata’s assassination “has yet to begin”.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said: “If the Israeli occupation expanded its crimes, the Palestinian resistance will not stay silent. The Palestinian resistance does not reject any side who intend to put an end to the Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip.”  15:57Another young Palestinian killed by Israel’s ongoing air strikes

The Israeli army has killed another 26-year-old Palestinian, after launching a new series of air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

Ibrahim Al-Dabous died from wounds he sustained as a result of the strikes, confirmed the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

A total of five Palestinians in Gaza, including senior Islamic Jihad commander Bahaa Abu Al-Ata, have been killed today by Israeli fire.

Israeli soldiers have provided information regarding their ongoing bombing campaign against Palestinian targets, saying they are targeting “training compounds, including one used by Palestinian Islamic Jihadi’s naval commando unit”.

Days of Palestine@DaysofPalestine  

Palestinian martyr Ibrahim Dabous got married on 4 September 2019. He is one of five Palestinians killed in the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza since early morning today.

View image on Twitter

415:43 – 12 Nov 2019Twitter Ads information and privacy15:5825-year-old Palestinian becomes 5th victim of Israel’s aggression

A 25-year-old Palestinian has become the latest victim of Israel’s ongoing air strikes on the Gaza Strip, the Ministry of Health said.

Israeli soldiers are currently using tanks to attack what they say are three Islamic Jihad military positions in the Gaza Strip.

Four Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s latest assault on the Strip, they are:

Bahaa Salim Abu Al-Ata, 42 years old.

Asma Mohammed Abu Alata, 39 years old.

Mohammed Hammouda, 20 years old.

Zaki Mohammed Adnan Ghanama, 25 years old

25 others are reported to be seriously injured and require immediate treatment.

Shehab Agency@ShehabAgencyEn  

MOH: The Palestinian, Zaki Ghannam, 25 was shot dead and 3 others were wounded by the Israeli occupation attacks on Gaza Strip.

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2513:11 – 12 Nov 2019Twitter Ads information and privacy   14:52Hamas criticises Israel’s violence after killing Abu Al-Ata

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh condemns the Israeli “aggression” against Palestinians in Gaza, which he says will “fortify the alliance of the resistance factions.”

In a statement he said: “These crimes of the occupation come at a time in which our people’s factions and forces have made advances toward restoring our national unity in order to stand together in the battle of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa, settlements and prisoners.”

“The occupation’s leaders are trying to cause confusion as a part of a desperate effort to block the path to restoring our national unity, especially in light of the positive atmosphere in our Palestinian arena in recent days,” Haniyeh added, in apparent reference to progress in efforts to hold Palestinian elections.

Haniyeh said targeted killings by Israel “will not succeed in changing the fighting creed of the resistance factions and forces.”

Hamas offered its condolences to Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziad Al-Nakhala following the “martyrdom” of Abu Al-Ata, Haniyeh added.

This came as the Israeli army began another series of air strikes on targets it claimed are being used by Islamic Jihad for training and underground sites used for the manufacture and storage of ammunition.

  14:50Netanyahu accused of killing Islamic Jihad official for political gain

Some opposition lawmakers are accusing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of being motivated by political considerations in ordering the assassination of Islamic Jihad Commander Bahaa Abu Al-Ata.

Chairman of the Arab-majority Joint List party in the Israeli Knesset, Ayman Odeh, joined those who slammed Netanyahu and accused him of orchestrating the assassination in an effort to maintain his post as prime minister.

Responding to Odeh’s remarks, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, said: “It is very disappointing and I think it just makes it clearer how irresponsible all this talk of having a coalition or a government based on the support of the Arab List was, and is.”

Odeh was backed by fellow Joint List members MK Aida Touma-Sliman, who tweeted that “Netanyahu’s cynicism and cruelty knows no bounds- he started a war as a political exercise.” 

But former military chief Blue and White (Kahol Lavan)  leader Benny Gantz says he fully supports the decision to kill the senior Islamic Jihad officer.

Netanyahu and Gantz have been negotiating terms to end the government deadlock which led to Israel holding two elections in one year, with discussions of a possible unity government.

Israel’s Netanyahu gives up effort to form new government

  14:29Palestinians killed in a fresh round of Israeli air strikes

The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that 3 people had been killed in fresh air strikes and one has been admitted to the Indonesian Hospital in the north of the Gaza Strip.

This comes after the Israeli jets bombed what they said were Islamic Jihad members in the northern Gaza Strip claiming Palestinains was preparing to fire rockets at Israel.

12-year-old girl Khadija Al-Abdleh has also been wounded in an Israeli artillery bombing on a farm near her house in Khan Younis.

The army took to Twitter to celebrate its latest attack on Gaza “We targeted them before they could”.

Israel Defense Forces @IDF  

A number of Islamic Jihad terrorists were preparing to launch more rockets from Gaza toward Israeli civilians.

We targeted them before they could.3,26312:44 – 12 Nov 2019Twitter Ads information and privacy Adding to Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman’s claims that the operation to kill Bahaa Abu Al-Ata “succeeded as a result of strained work by many people. The mission tonight was at the right time and at the right place.” Yisrael Beiteinu head Avigdor Lieberman, however said he had planned to kill Abu Al-Ata last year but was “prevented” from doing so by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  12:53Netanyahu is planning a new attack

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened that Israel will target anyone who tries to attack the State of Israel, after stressing he does not seek to escalate tensions with the Gaza Strip.

At a press conference, Israeli officials described murdered Islamic Jihad Commander Abu Al-Ata as a “ticking bomb” who was responsible for a string of recent cross-border rocket, drone and sniper attacks and was suspected of planning more.

Israeli army Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi announced that the Israeli military is preparing for an “escalation in violence after the targeted killing of an Islamic Jihad commander Bahaa Abu Al-Ata”.

He said: “He is the man who acted in every way to sabotage attempts for calm with Hamas. He was a live ticking bomb, and even now he worked and planned attacks. He was responsible for the majority of attacks that took place over the past year. We are preparing for escalation from the ground, air and sea.”

  12:44EU condemns bombing following the killing of Islamic Jihad leader

The European Union called on Israel and Hamas to scale back the violence following the killing of Abu Al-Ata by Israel in eastern Gaza this morning.

The EU called for “a rapid and complete de-escalation” and stressed that it “is now necessary to safeguard the lives and security of Palestinian and Israeli civilians,” adding it supported Egypt’s efforts to push for de-escalation. 

The statement reads: “The firing of rockets on civilian populations is totally unacceptable and must immediately stop. A rapid and complete de-escalation is now necessary to safeguard the lives and security of Palestinian and Israeli civilian.”

“The European Union fully supports the efforts of Egypt in this regard. As the EU has consistently reiterated, only a political solution can put an end to these continuing cycles of violence.” EU Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret tweeted. “A rapid de-escalation is needed.”

Speaking to MEMO earlier todayIsraeli journalist Baruch Yadid said Tel Aviv had contacted Egypt in order to mediate with Palestinian factions in Gaza and contain the situation in Gaza.  12:06Israel closes off Gaza fishing zone

Israel shut down crossing into Gaza and stopped Palestinian fishermen from accessing the water as a result of its military operation in the Strip.

Zakariya Baker, the head of fishermen committees in Gaza, said that the Israeli occupation had completely closed the sea for fishing and all other activities.

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Defense Ministry body responsible for liaising with the Palestinians, announced that the closures would be until further notice despite fishing being a significant source of revenue for Gaza.

Raed Fattouh, the director of Gaza crossings, said earlier that the Israeli occupation had closed all Gaza crossings, through which most goods transit into the Strip, tightening the siege imposed on the enclave.  12:44Israel agreed to target Islamic Jihad leader on Sunday

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the decision to kill a senior Islamic Jihad officer was taken on Sunday during the weekly meeting of the Israeli Cabinet, which former military chief Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) leader Benny Gantz says he also fully supports.

On Twitter, Netanyahu’s office described Abu Al-Ata as a “senior Islamic Jihad commander” and claimed “he was responsible for many terrorist attacks and the firing of rockets at Israel in recent months and had intended to carry out imminent attacks.”

PM of Israel @IsraeliPM · 14h

Statement from the Prime Minister’s Office:
Senior Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata was targeted overnight in Gaza. He was responsible for many terrorist attacks and the firing of rockets at Israel in recent months and had intended to carry out imminent attacks.

PM of Israel @IsraeliPM 

The IDF action was recommended by the IDF Chief-of-Staff and ISA Director and was approved by the Prime Minister and Defense Minister after it had been presented to – and approved by – the Security Cabinet.38305:43 – 12 Nov 2019Twitter Ads information and privacyFormer Israeli army chief Gantz also took to Twitter this morning and wrote:”The battle against terrorism requires difficult decisions,Blue and White places every proper action taken for the safety of Israel above politics. Every terrorist who endangers our security knows he is marked for death.”  12:44Palestinians join funeral of assassinated Islamic Jihad official

Crowds of Palestinians in Gaza participate in the funeral procession for Bahaa Abu Al-Ata, whose body will be brought from the Shifa Hospital to his family’s home in Shuja’iyya and then to the Omari Mosque in Gaza City, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa

Joe Truzman@Jtruzmah  

A large crowd of Palestinians march during the funeral procession of assassinated Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Atta. #Gaza #Israel

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1508:39 – 12 Nov 2019Twitter Ads information and privacy  His children, Saleem, Mohammad, Layan and Fatima, who were injured when the air strike hit their home, are being treated at Shifa Hospital.  12:45Hamas: Murder of Islamic Jihad leader ‘won’t go without punishment’

Hamas says the assassination of Bahaa Abu Al-Ata will not pass without a “punishment”.

“Our Palestinian people bid farewell today to a commander and fighter who followed the path of martyred leaders. We in Hamas affirm that the Zionist enemy will bear responsibility for all the consequences and ramifications of this escalation and dangerous attack,” Hamas said in a statement.

“The path of fighting and resistance is on the rise and the crime of assassinating the commander Abu Salim will not pass without a punishment,” it added in reference to Abu Al-Ata.

In its response to the targeted assassination, Islamic Jihad said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had crossed “all the red lines”. Adding: “We are going to war. Netanyahu has crossed all the red lines in the assassination of Al-Quds Brigades Commander Baha Abu Al-Ata. We will respond forcefully.”  10:56Israel closes schools, calls residents to shelters

Israeli media announced earlier today that schools had been closed in the areas around the besieged Gaza Strip with residents told to go to shelters.

The Times of Israel reports that “Haifa Mayor Einat Kalish announces that the city’s museums and zoo will be free of charge for residents of Gaza border communities and the south in light of the military escalation.”

  12:45Israeli journalist: Tel Aviv has contacted Egypt to contain Gaza situation

Speaking to MEMO, Israeli journalist Baruch Yadid said Tel Aviv has contacted Egypt in order to mediate with Palestinian factions in Gaza and contain the situation.

Yadid added that Israel believed Islamic Jihad leader Abu Al-Ata was targeted because Israel believed him to be a dissident who operated without Islamic Jihad’s approval.

  12:46Palestinian killed in Israel drone attack on Gaza

The Palestinian Ministry of Health has reported that one man has been killed and seven wounded after Israeli drones targeted a group of Palestinians in the north of the Gaza Strip.

Israel confirmed the attack claiming it was targeting Islamic Jihad members “the attack was carried out in order to remove the immediate threat. A strike was confirmed,” the military said.

Those injured were transferred to the Indonesian Hospital.

This brings the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli strikes today to three: Bahaa Abu Al-Ata, 42, Asmaa Abu Al-Ata, 39, and Mohammed Hammouda, 20.  12:47Palestinian President condemns Israel’s strikes on Gaza

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has condemned Israel’s attack on the besieged Gaza Strip which killed senior Islamic Jihad official Bahaa Abu Al-Ata and his wife.

“The Israeli government “full responsibility, and the consequences of the deterioration of the situation in the Gaza Strip, by targeting citizens and property,” he said, calling on the international community to afford protection to Palestinians living under Israeli aggression.

Israel’s security cabinet rejects plan to assassinate Palestinian leaders in Gaza

  12:48Israel murders senior Islamic Jihad official and his wife in Gaza

The Israeli occupation army announcedthis morning that it had killed a senior military official of Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. Bahaa Abu Al-Ata was killed in what was described as a complicated joint operation with the internal security agency Shin Bet.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that Abu Al-Ata and his wife Asmaa were killed in an Israeli air strike on their house in the east of Gaza City. It also confirmed that their children Salim, Mohammed Layan and Fatima, as well as their neighbour Hanan Hellis, were wounded in the same attack. All are in a stable condition in hospital.

In its own statement on the murder of Abu Al-Ata, Islamic Jihad also announced that a member of its Political Bureau, Akram Al-Ajjouri, survived an Israeli attack on his house in Damascus, although his son and a number of bodyguards were killed.

“These terrorist crimes are a new aggression against the Palestinian people and the declaration of a new Israeli war on them,” said the movement. It blamed the occupation authorities for any consequent escalation in the Gaza Strip. “The Israeli occupation crossed all the red lines with its new crimes which shattered all efforts being made towards the truce and tranquillity.”

Other Palestinian factions, including Hamas, Fatah and the Popular and Democratic Fronts, condemned the Israeli “aggression” and also blamed Israel for any escalation.

Israel’s Netanyahu appoints far-right Bennett as defence minister

(Source / 12.11.2019) 

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