Israel carried out an airstrike in the Syrian capital Damascus on Tuesday targeting a top commander of the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Syrian and Israeli media said. The IDF hasn't confirmed if it was responsible for the airstrike that killed Akram al-Ajouri, the deputy chief of the Islamic Jihad.
The wife and daughter of al-Ajouri were also killed in the strike on Damascus at night. The Islamic Jihad confirmed the killing of the top commander. The attack on the Damascus home of al-Ajouri came hours after Israel killed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Leader Bahaa Abu Al-Ata. The IAF confirmed it bombed a building in the Gaza Strip, killing al-Ata in a targeted strike.
Media reports also said another Israeli missile struck a civilian building near the Lebanese Embassy in Damascus even as the Jewish state ramped up an operation targeting Palestinian leaders. Israel believes that Ajouri coordinated the resistance movement's operations, acting as an interlink between Damascus and Gaza.
Earlier, IDF confirmed that it had received specific intelligence input on al-Ata's whereabouts. IDF spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman said the surgical strike was carried after determining the specific room where al-Ata was sleeping. Al-Ata and his wife were killed instantly and two of his children were injured seriously, the Islamic Jihad confirmed.
Meanwhile, PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said the assassination of al-Ata was a 'crime'. The Islamic Jihad said the attack that killed Ajouri was done by "the Zionist criminal enemy," the Jerusalem Post reported.
Following the targeted attacks that killed two top leaders of the PIJ, Hamas intensified shelling in Israel. The Iran-backed outfit fired some 50 rockets towards Israeli territories on Tuesday morning, the JP reported. Several Israelis including children were injured and Houses were damaged in the Hamas shelling.