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May 9, 2023 7:56 am

Targeted Assassination Kills 3 Palestinian Islamic Jihad Leaders in Gaza

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avatar by i24 News

Mourners carry the body of senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Khalil Al-Bahtini, who was killed in an Israeli strike, during his funeral in Gaza City, May 9, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

i24 News – Israel’s military targeted the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group in the Gaza Strip, according to a statement early Tuesday. The Israeli army spokesperson’s unit said it killed three leaders of the terrorist organization. The health ministry in Gaza reported 13 fatalities, including women and children.

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The operation, dubbed “Shield and Arrow,” targeted senior group members Jahed Ahnam, Khalil Bahitini, and Tarek Az Aldin.

Ahnam served in several key posts high up in the organization, and was recently involved in the transfer of money and weapons between PIJ and Hamas, the ruling entity in Gaza.

While situated in the Gaza Strip, Aldin plotted terrorist attacks in the West Bank. Bahitini was responsible for rockets fired at Israel last month, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

Khalil Bahitini, a commanding officer in the PIJ’s Northern Gaza Division, was responsible for the rockets launched from Gaza toward Israel in April. He was a member of the PIJ’s military council in Gaza, and was in direct contact with members of the PIJ political bureau.

The third operative eliminated, Tarek Az Aldin, was responsible for coordinating activities between the PIJ in Gaza and its cells located in the West Bank. Az Aldin had arranged money transfers to plan and carry out attacks on Israeli civilians in the West Bank; multiple plots were planned to be carried out imminently.

The IDF Home Front Command issued instructions for residents of southern Israel living near Gaza to stay close to protected areas, in preparation for a possible retaliation of rockets.

Last week, Israel’s southern border flared up as more than 100 rockets were fired at Israeli civilians. In response, the military pounded Hamas and PIJ, the two strongest terrorist organizations in the Palestinian enclave.

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