The Israeli Air Force conducted strikes on Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip early Tuesday, the Israeli military said, killing multiple senior terror commanders.
Witnesses said an explosion hit the top floor of an apartment building in Gaza City and a house in the southern city of Rafah. Airstrikes continued in the early hours, targeting terrorist training sites.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said a number of people were killed and injured in the airstrikes but did not elaborate. The Islamic Jihad said the wives of the three commanders and a number of their children were also killed.
The Israeli army said the aerial bombings were directed at the residences of three senior commanders of the Iranian-backed group. It added the three were responsible for recent rocket fire toward Israel.
The bombings, codenamed “Operation Shield and Arrow,” targeted Khalil Bahtini, the Islamic Jihad commander for northern Gaza Strip; Tareq Izzeldeen, the group’s intermediary between its Gaza and West Bank members; and Jehad Ghanam, the secretary of the Islamic Jihad’s military council.
In anticipation of Palestinian rocket attacks in response to the airstrikes, the Israeli military advised residents of communities within 25 miles (40 kilometers) of Gaza to stay close to designated bomb shelters.
(YWN World headquarters – NYC / AP)