The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed a top Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commander in its latest strikes on Sunday night and into Monday morning in addition to eliminating miles of an underground terror tunnel used by Palestinian terrorist groups.
“Senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Hassam Abu-Arbid was killed in an Israeli airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip Monday afternoon as rockets fired from the blockaded enclave continued to be fired towards southern Israel communities,” The Jerusalem Post reported. “The IDF said that Abu-Arbid, was killed in a joint operation with the Shin Bet intelligence services, commanded over the northern Gaza Strip brigade of the terror organization and was behind the launching of rockets and anti-tank guided missiles towards Israel.”
The strike comes as the Palestinian terrorists have fired more than 3,100 rockets at Israel over the last several days with approximately 450 of the rockets falling inside Gaza. The IDF also struck more than 9 miles of tunnels used by the terrorists in a 20-minute long attack that featured 54 fighter jets dropping more than 100 precision bombs.
The IDF said in a statement:
A short while ago, IDF fighter jets struck a Hamas tunnel shaft in the area of Khan Yunis of the southern Gaza Strip. The tunnel contained military equipment and was located adjacent to a kindergarten, a mosque and a hospital. This proves once again how the Hamas terror organization deliberately places its military assets in the heart of densely populated civilian areas. The IDF provided advance warning to civilians in the building in order to allow them sufficient time to evacuate the site. In addition, IDF fighter jets struck offices belonging to Hamas Internal Security, which served as terror infrastructure.
The IDF also struck a warehouse containing weapons that was located in the home of a Hamas terrorist and also targeted a naval weapons warehouse belonging to Hamas.
Maj. T., head of the Surface-to-Surface Rockets and Mortars Department, said Israel’s military has been building its database of terrorist targets for more than 18 months with help from nearly every branch of Israel’s military.
“This was a big event that was different than anything we did before,” Maj. T said. “The tunnels were built under residential buildings. We turned their tunnels into tunnels of death while not hitting any civilians.”
“Hamas is always trying to work on ways to attack Israel, and we are always working to foil their plans,” he continued. “We have hit a lot of their senior commanders and infrastructure that will bring Hamas dozens of years backward after this operation is over.”
Maj. T said that after a week of intense fighting, the IDF’s database of targets still remains well-stocked and that “there are enough targets to keep striking, at the same level which we have done so far.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during an interview on Sunday, “We’re trying to degrade Hamas’ terrorist abilities and to degrade their will to do this again. So it’ll take some time. I hope it won’t take long, but it’s not immediate.”
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