Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit via Twitter
IDF military bus in flames after being struck by Kornet anti-tank missile fired by Hamas at Gaza border Nov. 13 2018

The Israel Defense Forces assassinated two Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists late Tuesday afternoon in a drone strike in southern Gaza.


The targeted terrorists were eliminated while en route to launch a precision-guided Kornet missile at an IDF tank position near the security fence along Israel’s border with Gaza, according to the IDF.

“IDF observation vehicles followed the squad’s activities and attacked it when it was on its way to the firing position,” the IDF said in its statement. “The IDF will continue to act in order to preserve the safety of the residents of the State of Israel.”

Less than an hour later, Israeli military forces also struck a naval outpost belonging to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, according to local sources.

Operation Shield and Arrow: Israel Assassinates 3 Senior PIJ Commanders
Earlier in the day, Israel assassinated three top commanders in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist organization. The move came as the IDF launched a tightly focused, targeted campaign against PIJ in Gaza in the wake of a barrage of 104 rockets fired by PIJ terrorists at southern Israeli civilians in response to the death of Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan after an 87-day hunger strike.

“Terrorism is a threat to civilians everywhere,” the IDF said in a statement following the assassination. “Islamic Jihad and its leaders have been threatening the security of Israelis for too long.”

Political-Security Cabinet Convenes
Israel’s political-security cabinet convened Tuesday afternoon at 5 pm, shortly after the conclusion of a situation assessment held by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Also attending the assessment were Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, National Security Council head Tzachi Hanegbi, Mossad chief David Barnea, Shin Bet director Ronen Bar, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi and other senior defense and government officials.

Missing from that meeting, however, was National Security Adviser Itamar Ben-Gvir.

Ben-Gvir is expected to be at the political-security cabinet meeting where ministers will discuss the upcoming Operation Shield and Arrow against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group in Gaza.

The prime minister has also asked Shas MK and former Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Likud Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee Chairman Yuli Edelstein to attend the meeting as observers.

Netanyahu told reporters following the situation assessment that Iran is behind 95 percent of Israel’s current security issues.

“Our primary problem in connection with today’s events is Iran,” the prime minister said. “Ninety-five percent of Israel’s current security issues are about Iran. My policy is designed to delay Iran’s transition to a state with political nuclear capability.

“We will do everything we can to prevent Iran from going nuclear,” Netanyahu said.

“We need to prevent Iran from establishing a second Lebanon in Syria. Iran wants a multi-arena campaign against us and if we need to fight such a battle, we can.”

Israelis Told to Prepare for Conflict
Israelis across the country spent the day on Lag B’Omer making preparations for response that is expected to emerge following the funerals of the three PIJ commanders.

Israeli officials said the impending conflict could last at least several days, and possibly longer. The acclaimed Iron Dome anti-missile defense system has been deployed in various locations around the country as part of the preparations.

Municipalities along Israel’s Mediterranean coast up to Herzliya opened their public bomb shelters, and at least five thousand Israelis living in communities along the Gaza border and Ashkelon temporarily evacuated their homes in anticipation of the fighting.

Ashdod’s Assuta Hospital announced that its structure is completely fortified against rocket fire, for those who may need its services. Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon and Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva both announced that they have moved their patients into fortified areas.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.