Israel has confirmed it has killed Hamas Military Chief and terror mastermind Ahmed al-Jabari. He had been credited with the increased rocket fire coming from the Gaza Strip. Approximately 10,000 rockets have been fired at Israel since he assumed the position.
IDF Spokesman Yoav Mordechai told the Jerusalem Post that the airstrike marked the beginning of a campaign to target Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror organizations in Gaza.
According to an AP report, “Witnesses say Jabari was traveling in his vehicle in Gaza City when his car exploded.”
Shortly after the operation the IDF released this statement:
“In the past hour, the IDF targeted Ahmed Jabri, the head of Hamas’ military wing, in the Gaza Strip. Jabri was a senior Hamas operative who served in the upper echelon of the Hamas’ command and was directly responsible for executing terror attacks against the State of Israel in the past number of years.
The purpose of this operation was to severely impair the command and control chain of the Hamas leadership, as well as its terrorist infrastructure. This was a surgical operation in cooperation with the Israeli Security Agency, that was implemented on the basis of concrete intelligence and using advanced capabilities.”
The Times of Israel reports that, “Jaabari was credited with being one of the leaders of Hamas’s violent putsch to take control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, and masterminded the professionalization of the Hamas military,” and that “Israel attempted to kill Jaabari in an airstrike in 2004.”
Taking to Twitter shortly after the incident, Middle East News Editor for Sky News Tom Rayner wrote, “Hamas claim assassination of military wing chief Ahmed Jabari marks heightened state of war. More strikes also taking place over Gaza now.”
BBC World News reports on Twitter: “Gunfire heard across #Gaza City as news of Ahmed al-Jabari’s killing is broadcast from mosques.”
A video of al-Jabari from 2009 where he refers to Israelis as rats can be viewed below: