IDF assassinates head of Islamic Jihad’s rocket unit

The IDF assassinated the head of the Islamic Jihad terror group’s rocket program.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The head of the the Islamic Jihad terror group’s rocket unit was killed Tuesday in an IDF air strike, as were two other Islamic Jihad terrorists involved in firing rockets at Israel, the terror group announced on its website.

Sameh Fahim Hashem Al-Mamluk, 34, was the head of the missile unit in the northern region of the Al-Quds Brigades.

He along with other senior Islamic Jihad members were killed in a precision air strike on the location where they were hiding, Channel 12 reports.

Following the strike, a massive barrage of rockets was fired at the city of Ashkelon in which two rockets got through Israel’s missile defense and exploded in residential buildings, killing two women and wounding 40 other people.

Islamic Jihad identified the other two dead terrorists as Mohammed Abu al-Atta, 30, and Kamal Tayseer Salman Qureiqa, 34, both of whom were field commanders in the terror group’s rocket unit.

Al-Atta was the deputy commander of the Gaza Brigade and one of the heads of the special rocket unit. He is also the brother of Baha Abu al-Atta, a senior Islamic Jihad commander who was killed by Israel in 2019.

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A statement by the IDF Spokesperson’s Office said the attack on the terrorists was a joint operation by the IDF with the Shin Bet General Security Service (GSS), which had apparently tracked down the hiding place of the Islamic Jihad’s rocket team, responsible for the firing of hundreds of missiles at Israeli towns and cities since Monday.

“The response to the crime of assassinating martyrs will be harsh and their blood will remain a lamp light for the mujahideen,” said an Islamic Jihad statement. “We will proceed with the resistance until the liberation of all beloved Palestine.”

As part of IDF operations, at least 150 Hamas and other terrorist targets have been attacked in Gaza including the offices of two senior Hamas military commanders, Hamas war rooms and observation posts, a weapons depot in the Hamas anti-tank training base, and military compounds.

In a sign of possible expansion of the Israeli operation, Defense Minister Benny Gantz authorized the call-up of 5,000 IDF reservists, and the IDF moved artillery batteries into position close to the Gaza border, the home of a Hamas battalion commander.

The Israeli retaliatory strikes come in response to the firing of a rocket barrage at Jerusalem on Monday evening and hundreds of rockets targeting communities surrounded the Gaza Strip.