May 11 (UPI) — The Israeli Defense Forces said it has killed a commander of the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad on Thursday morning in the ongoing fighting in Gaza and Israel.
The IDF said it targeted Ali Ghali, the leader of the Islamic Jihad’s rocket launching force, in part of a sweeping military operation targeting the group that has seen the military launch strikes into Gaza this week.
“Ghali was entrusted with all the routine activity of the force and held a central role in the instruction and launching of rocket fire toward Israel, including the recent barrage of rockets toward Israeli territory,” the IDF said.
Israel said it killed Ghali, along with two other senior Islamic Jihad commanders, believed to be his brother Mahmoud Hassan Muhammed Ghali, and Mahmud Walid Abdul Jawad, on Thursday morning in a strike on a residential building where It said that Ghali had been hiding.
The Islamic Jihad acknowledged Ghali’s death in its own statement, saying he died “in a treacherous Zionist operation in Khan Yunis.”
On Tuesday, Israel said it killed Khalil Bahitini a senior operational officer of Islamic Jihad and its Northern Gaza Division commander; Jihad Ghanem, one of the organization’s most senior members; and Tarek Ezzaldin, who it said directed the terrorist organization’s operation in Judea and Samaria from Gaza.
The operation has led to an exchange of missiles between the two sides, although a cease-fire is reportedly in the works.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health said on Thursday that 25 Palestinians have died and 76 have been injured since Israel began targeting the Islamic Jihad.
The IDF charged that four Palestinian civilians, including a 10-year-old girl, died from misfired Palestinian Islamic Jihad rockets in the Gaza Strip.
The military said the Islamic Jihad has fired 507 missiles from the Gaza Strip but 108 never made it out of the region.
Jake Sullivan, the United States national security adviser, spoke with Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi on Wednesday as he noted continued regional efforts to broker a cease-fire, and emphasized the need to de-escalate tensions and prevent further loss of life.
A readout of the phone call said he “reaffirmed the administration’s ironclad support for Israel’s security, as well as its right to defend its people from indiscriminate rocket attacks.”