The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) targeted and killed a notorious Palestinian terrorist  Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu Al Ata early Tuesday morning in Gaza. In retaliation for his death, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, quickly and indiscriminately launched rockets into Israeli cities.

“Baha Abu Al Ata was the senior commander of Islamic Jihad in Gaza, responsible for most attacks emanating from Gaza over the last year…he was a ticking time-bomb…there was a window of opportunity that we utilized precisely,” LTG Aviv Kohavi, IDF Chief of General Staff said in statement following the operation.

Terrorists in Gaza launched a barrage of nearly 160 rockets into Central and Southern Israel. The IDF intercepted 60 of those rockets with its Iron Dome air defense system, but the majority of the rockets launched put some of Israel’s most densely populated cities in the line of fire.


Ashkelon, a small, but densely populated city in Southern Israel, was forced to completely shut down in the wake of the attacks. Schools were closed, buses were stopped, and hospitals were evacuated. Instead of conducting life as usual, Israeli civilians had to seek shelter in these cities.

IDF forces swiftly deployed fighter jets to target Palestinians launching rockets. “Terrorists think they can hit civilians and hide behind civilians. We showed that we can hit the terrorist with minimal damage to civilians. Anyone who thinks they can hit our civilians and get away with it is wrong. If you hit us we will hit you,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told members of his Security Cabinet Tuesday.