May 12 (UPI) — Israel said Friday it had killed a sixth senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader as its military operation targeting the group entered its fourth day.
The attack, which was announced online by Israeli military departments and IDF officials, is part of Operation Shield and Arrow, which has been striking Islamic Jihad militants in Palestinian enclaves along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea since early Tuesday. Its actions come after the recent barrage of missiles shot at Israel from the Gaza region.
Islamic Jihad, the second-most powerful radical group in the Palestinian enclave, has taken responsibility for the strikes, which began after the death of accused militant Sheikh Khader Adnan, who had spent 87 days on a hunger strike in jail in Israel.
The Israeli Defense Forces said more than 900 rockets were launched from Gaza at Israel, after announcing that ceasefire talks were off. The IDF has accused the Islamic Jihad of threatening to continue rocket attacks for the next week.
The Times of Israel has reported that a new ceasefire proposal from Egypt is being considered, although its chances of being implemented are unclear.
Israeli military officials officials said Ahmed Abu Deka was the deputy commander of the terrorist organization’s rocket force, and that several actions were taken to avoid collateral damage in the attack.
However, one rocket that made it through the defense shield hit a residential building in Rehovot city near Tel Aviv, with Israel’s emergency medical services Magen David Adom stating one person was killed and five others suffered shrapnel injures in the strike.
IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said the Iron Dome defense system fired but was unable to intercept.
“MDA paramedics pronounced the death of a victim who suffered multiple systemic injuries and referred five casualties to Kaplan Hospital, including a 74-year-old man and a 50-year-old man and two women about 70 years old and one minor,” the emergency services tweeted.
Following the attack, Israel citizens were being warned to take precautions.
“It is true that we have the best air defense system in the world, but it is very important that we also take proper personal and family defense,” Benny Gantz, Israel’s Minister of Defense, tweeted. “To our enemies we say — those who think they will get a victory picture will pay the price. Our security forces know the job — and the entire Israeli society is united behind them.”
As of Thursday evening, MDA said it had treated 51 people, including 22 for bodily injuries and 29 who were descried as “anxiety victims,” during Operation Shield and Arrow.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement that at least 28 of its citizens have been killed and 93 others have been injured in the Israeli strikes on Gaza.