The leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s (PIJ) Southern Gaza division, Khaled Mansour, was killed last night, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Sunday. This comes two days after the head of the militant group’s northern division, Taysir al-Jabari, was taken out. According to Israeli military sources, Mansour’s death completes neutralization of all PIJ leaders.
A tweet by the Israeli military stated this in a statement. said that Mansour, who was “They were responsible for numerous terrorist attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians.” was targeted and killed by IDF aircraft.
Mansour’s death was later confirmed by the Islamic Jihad, which said in a statement quoted by the media that it mourns a fighter who “Yesterday’s Israeli air strikes caused the death of a number of civilians..”
On Saturday night, the head of the IDF Operations Directorate, Major General Oded Basiuk, told the press that “essentially, all of the senior officials of Gaza’s Islamic Jihad have been eliminated.”
He revealed that the commander of the PIJ’s Rafah Brigade group, Khatab Amasi, and Mansour’s deputy, Ziad Madalal, had been among those killed in the latest airstrikes conducted on the third day of Israel’s Breaking Dawn anti-terrorist operation.
According to IDF’s most recent update, PIJ militants launched 580 rockets against Israel in the five days since Friday’s launch. According to the IDF, 97% were intercepted in mid-air and destroyed by Iron Dome missile defence systems. “120+ rockets landed in Gaza and killed innocent Palestinians.”
The Israeli military had earlier accused Gaza PIJ militants in killing six civilians in Jabalia refugee camps in the northern part of the enclave. Saying that Israel “Jabaliya did not host any activities at that time.” the IDF said that the tragedy “was the result of a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket.”
Gaza’s Health Ministry claims that the death toll among Palestinians since the beginning of Operation Breaking Dawn has reached 31.
Reports of no casualties from the Israeli side indicate that there have been none.
Tensions escalated on Monday, after Israel arrested Islamic Jihad’s West Bank leader, Bassem Saadi, in a raid that killed a Palestinian teenager. The PIJ threatened retaliation after many Palestinians voiced outrage at the incident.
Operation Breaking Dawn was launched by the IDF on Friday. It cited the “imminent threat of attack against Israeli civilians posed by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.” The first strikes killed Taysir al-Jabari, while an additional 10-20 operatives were allegedly targeted with missiles and artillery.