IDF Targeted Operation Eliminates Palestinian Islamic Jihad Commander

In a targeted operation Friday afternoon, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) struck a building in the Gaza Strip killing Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s (PIJ) northern commander, Taysir al-Jabari.

The IDF statement said that al-Jabari was responsible for “many of the decisions taken by the organizations and in the last few days, he planned and promoted attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers using anti-tank launchers.”

The statement also added that al-Jabari “directed a number of rocket attacks toward Israeli territory, and was responsible for an attack on a civilian jeep, resulting in a civilian being injured.”

After the targeted operation, PIJ published a eulogy mourning the death of al-Jabari including other militants who were with him during the attack.

“The Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine and its military wing “Saraya al-Quds” mourns a group of our heroic people and our righteous mujahids who were martyred as a result of the treacherous Zionist raids that targeted the beloved Gaza Strip. To exalt the righteous martyrs, and at the head of them, the national leader, and the great mujahid Sheikh Taysir al-Jabari “Abu Mahmoud” the commander of the al-Quds army in the northern region of the Gaza Strip, as well as a number of mujahideen and citizens, including a little girl in her fifth year,” the statement said.

The Hamas-led Palestinian Joint Operations Room also issued a statement mourning the death of al-Taysir and vowed a response to the IDF’s operation in a “manner determined by the leadership of the resistance.”

Israel’s operation dubbed “Breaking Dawn” was launched after repeated threats of military action by Palestinian Islamic Jihad following the arrest of Bassem al-Saadi, the organization’s leader in the West Bank. Al-Saadi was arrested on Monday night in Jenin during a joint raid by the IDF and other affiliated security forces.

Israel’s Shabak alleged al-Saadi was the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the West Bank and was behind the “building of a significant military force of the organization” in the area including Jenin. It also added that he “was a significant factor in the radicalization of the organization’s operatives in the field.” [See FDD’s Long War Journal: Palestinian Islamic Jihad Leader Behind the Rise in West Bank Militancy Arrested]

Given the major operation conducted by the IDF, it is highly likely that Palestinian Islamic Jihad, in support of the other militant groups that comprise the Palestinian Joint Operations Room, will respond to the targeted killing of their militants in the coming hours.

Joe Truzman is an editor and senior research analyst at FDD's Long War Journal focused primarily on Palestinian armed groups and non-state actors in the Middle East.

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