IDF kills Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza; rockets fired at central Israel

Bahaa Abu al-Atta killed in first targeted killing by Israel since 2014; Netanyahu says terror leader poised to launch attacks against country with support from Iran; schools cancelled across south, center

The Iranian-backed Palestinian group confirmed Tuesday morning that Abu al-Atta, its northern Gaza Strip commander had been killed and vowed to avenge his death.

The Gaza home in which Abu al-Atta was killed in an IDF strike

The Gaza home in which Abu al-Atta was killed in an IDF strike

The response was quick to come as dozens of rockets were fired from Gaza at southern and central Israel.

By 9am, the IDF said, 50 rockets had been fired from Gaza, of which the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted approximately 20.

All educational institutions were to remain closed Tuesday in the south and center of Israel, and people in non-essential jobs were told to remain at home.

This is the first incident of targeted killing by Israel since the end of the 2014 Gaza conflict, Operation Protective Edge.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Islamic Jihad commander was poised to launch imminent attacks against Israel.

Israelis crouch by the side of the road as sirens sound in Rishon Lezion (Photo: Hasifa)

Israelis crouch by the side of the road as sirens sound in Rishon Lezion (Photo: Hasifa)
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Blue and White leader Benny Gantz said in a tweet Tuesday morning that he supported the decision to target Abu al-Atta and that Israel’s security transcended politics.

“The battle against terrorism requires difficult decisions,” the former IDF chief said. “Blue and White places every proper action taken for the safety of Israel above politics. Every terrorist who endangers our security knows he is marked for death.”

Iron Dome intercepts Gaza rockets over Ashkelon (Photo: Reuters)

Iron Dome intercepts Gaza rockets over Ashkelon (Photo: Reuters)

The IDF released a statement confirming the attack was a coordinated effort by the military and the Shin Bet security service.

Gaza’s Health Ministry says a man and a woman were killed in the blast and two other people were wounded.

Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Atta

Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Atta

The airstrike damaged the half of the second and most of the third floors of a house in the Shejaeya neighborhood east of the city.

Israel media reported lately that Abu el-Atta was responsible for recent rocket attacks against southern Israel communities, instructed by Tehran.

The article was published on Ynet


Tel Aviv Pride Parade

With 200,000 people expected to attend, 30,000 of them tourists, the annual pride parade will begin at Gan Meir and then make its way to Charles Clore Park, where a massive beach party will commence.

The Tel Aviv Pride Parade will be held Friday under tight security, with hundreds of police, Border Police and volunteers deployed along the route of the parade to keep the peace.

This year’s parade will focus on the bisexual community, under the tagline Let it Be.

Celebrations will begin at 10am with an event at Gan Meir, which will include music and performances, LGBT community booths and stalls and a special area for children and teens.

The parade itself will leave at around 12pm, with 200,000 people expected to attend, including 30,000 tourists who came to Israel especially for the event.

Marchers will start on Bograshov Street and head west. They will then turn onto HaYarkon Street and head north toward Frishman Street. From there, marchers will head west onto the Herbert Samuel Promenade and head south to Charles Clore Park where a massive beach party will commence.

The floats escorting the parade will start rolling at 1pm along the promenade, eventually reaching Charles Clore Park, where several concerts will be held.

Performers will include Army of Lovers, Julieta, Shimi Tavori and several interchanging DJs.

Roads in the area are expected to close throughout the parade.

Police officers were instructed not to allow weapons, bicycle and electric bicycle into the parade route. In addition, sharp objects, dangerous toys, fireworks and animals (except for guide dogs) will also not be allowed into the parade area.

While police works to combat any crimes in the parade areas, marchers have been asked to closely guard their possessions and not leave any valuables in their cars.

The head of the Israeli Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Association, Chen Arieli, said, “As I march in the parade, I will be particularly proud of the partners I have, people who work in these organizations every day to make the world a better place, and that is a good reason to be proud in my eyes.”

 Arieli noted, however, that the road to equality was still a long one. “The parade began as a protest march. On the one hand, we are celebrating having the freedom to be who we are, and on the other hand there are a lot of complexities. The original reasons for the parade have not yet been gone from the world.”
The Article was published on Ynet