News & Politics

Israel Kills Islamic Jihad Leader Behind Missile Attacks

Mahmud Hams /Pool Photo via AP

On Monday, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) shared footage of the airstrike that took out one of Hamas’ key allies in Gaza, a leader of the Iran-backed terrorist group Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine. Along with Hamas, Islamic Jihad forms part of the Alliance of Palestinian Forces, which rejects the Oslo Accords and aims to erase Israel and establish an Islamic Palestinian state “from the river to the sea.”

“This is the moment we targeted Islamic Jihad Northern Division Commander in Gaza, Hussam Abu Harbid,” IDF announced on Twitter. “As an Islamic Jihad commander for 15 years, he was behind rocket launches, shootings, & anti-tank missile attacks on Israel. He won’t be committing any more terrorist attacks.”

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The current conflict began after Palestinian protesters violently attacked Israeli police while protesting an Israeli Supreme Court case that would likely uphold the lawful eviction of squatters who refused to pay rent after they agreed to acknowledge a Jewish land claim over their homes. The protesters attacked police, who responded with crowd-control measures that injured hundreds.

Hamas responded by firing thousands of rockets into Israel. The Iron Dome interceptor system has blocked the vast majority of the rockets, but the attacks have killed at least ten people in Israeli, including two children.

Israel has responded with rockets of their own, and Gaza has reported at least 201 Palestinians killed, including 58 children. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has claimed to have killed several Hamas commanders in the strikes.

According to the IDF, many of Hamas’ rockets have misfired, so the Palestinian terrorist group may be responsible for many of the deaths in the Gaza Strip. Israel has claimed that Hamas misfired 350 rockets in the first 3 days, killing innocent civilians in Gaza.

Before Israel sends precision-strike rockets, it first warns occupants of the targeted building, allowing people time to leave before destroying buildings that allegedly house Hamas weapons and intelligence. Hamas gives no such warnings to Israeli targets.

The IDF summed up the conflict so far. Between May 10 and May 17, IDF has struck more than 820 terror targets, neutralizing more than 130 terrorists. The IDF claimed that Hamas has launched 3,150 rockets at Israel, 460 of which have misfired, killing ten Israelis. The Iron Dome has reportedly struck down 90 percent of the Hamas rockets fired at Israel.

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Israel also shared a photograph of the interceptor system preventing Hamas rockets from hitting their targets.

On Friday, Israel lured Hamas into the tunnels by which the terrorists attack the Jewish state and carried out targeted explosions that only killed militants, while crippling the tunnel system.

While the conflict is tragic, Israel has a right to defend itself after Hamas fired rockets first. Hamas and pro-Palestinian outlets have focused on the tragic deaths of Palestinians, apparently attempting to direct attention away from the fact that Hamas started the conflict and that Hamas’ own misfired rockets may be responsible for some of the tragic deaths.

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Israel was right to target one of the terrorists responsible for missile attacks. Hussam Abu Harbid’s death marks an important victory for the Jewish state, and successful strikes like this should convince Hamas to back down.