Israel Kills Second Militant Leader in Gaza

On Friday, a similar air strike killed Tayseer Jabari, the PIJ's operations chief in northern Gaza. Since then, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) has launched nearly 600 rockets at Israeli cities, including Tel Aviv, Israel's financial capital, and dozens of southern towns bordering the Gaza Strip. For the first time since the start of the military operation, Jerusalem was hit by PIJ rockets on Sunday.

The Israeli military and domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet confirmed that Israel killed Khaled Mansour, the head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s (PIJ) operations in Gaza’s south, in an air strike late Saturday night on a house in Rafah.

Israel claimed that Mansour, who had survived at least five previous assassination attempts, was responsible for dozens of terror attacks against Israelis.

On Friday, a similar air strike killed Tayseer Jabari, the PIJ’s operations chief in northern Gaza. Since then, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) has launched nearly 600 rockets at Israeli cities, including Tel Aviv, Israel’s financial capital, and dozens of southern towns bordering the Gaza Strip. For the first time since the start of the military operation, Jerusalem was hit by PIJ rockets on Sunday.

Israel’s military, according to Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, “continues to strike terrorist targets and operatives, as well as to thwart rocket-launching squads.” The prime minister also stated that the operation will last as long as necessary.

The rocket attacks on Jerusalem coincide with the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’av, during which hundreds of Jews are expected to ascend a disputed holy site known as the Temple Mount by Jews and the Noble Sanctuary by Muslims.

Jordanian authorities officially manage the elevated esplanade, which prohibits non-Muslim prayer atop the site, a policy that has been increasingly violated in recent years by a rise in politically active Jewish worshippers. Clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian demonstrators at and near the flashpoint site triggered an 11-day war in May 2021, killing over 200 people in Gaza and 12 in Israel.

The Israeli army claimed to have “neutralized” the top leadership of the Islamic Jihad and struck 139 targets, including launch pits used by the Northern and Southern PIJ Commands, weapons storage facilities, and militants’ attack tunnels.