Skip to main content

IDF says it had no choice but to kill Islamic Jihad senior

The Israeli military operation to kill Islamic Jihad commander Bahaa Abu al-Atta was planned months in advance, after a series of rockets were fired toward Israel, including on Ashdod while Prime Minister Benjamin was delivering a speech there.
Read in 

On Nov. 12, Israel killed Bahaa Abu el-Atta, commander of the northern district of Islamic Jihad, in an air strike into Gaza. Abu el-Atta was one of the most influential members of the organization, in some respects even more so than its secretary-general, Ziyad al-Nakhalah, who resides in Syria. The decision to kill Abu el-Atta had been made in September.

Abu el-Atta was responsible for the launch of a rocket toward the southern Israeli city of Ashdod during a Sept. 10 election campaign speech there by Prime Minister Netanyahu. It wasn’t the embarrassment to Netanyahu that led to the decision to kill him, but because the group had acted out of arrogance and defiance toward Israel. There was no other apparent reason for Islamic Jihad or Hamas to have carried out such a brazen attack.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.