The Israeli military is bracing to conduct surgical strikes on Gaza if need be, Israel’s Chief of General Staff Aviv Kochavi said on Tuesday.
"We don't want an escalation but we are prepared for it," Kochavi said, specifying that it would be "on the ground, in the air and at sea," He also noted that "If we must, we will also move to targeted killings," according to the Ynet news portal.
Like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Kochavi also called Baha Abu al-Atta a ‘ticking time-bomb’ who was plotting further attacks. The IDF Chief of General Staff noted that the military operation carried out by the Israeli Air Force was precise and highly professional, TASS reports.
Palestinian groups and Israel’s military have exchanged strikes for several hours after a commander of the Al-Quds Brigades armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, 42-year-old Baha Abu al-Atta, was killed, along with his wife, in a strike on the Gaza Strip. In addition, five people, including their four children, were injured. The IDF press service earlier reported that at least 50 missiles were launched out of Gaza against Israel, 20 of which were intercepted by the country’s Iron Dome air defense system. Currently, the Israeli Air Force is carrying out mass attacks on Islamic Jihad military installations in the Gaza Strip.
Islamic Jihad promised to retaliate in kind for the killing of its leader, announcing the mobilization of its militants. The other groups that are members of the so-called joint resistance headquarters in Gaza also supported it, vowing that their response will have ‘no limits’.