Israel on Monday assassinated Hasam Abu Harbid, a senior militant commander in the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces said, triggering a fresh barrage of rockets on Israeli cities.
Israel’s Shin Bet security service and the military said in a joint statement that warplanes struck and killed the commander of the Northern Division of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Islamic Jihad is a militant group in Gaza that has been fighting alongside Hamas in the recent escalation.
“Abu Harbid has consistently led rocket launches against Israel as well as shooting attacks at soldiers,’’ the statement read, adding that he was behind an attack last Monday in which an Israeli civilian was injured.
He was a commander in the Islamic Jihad for over the past 15 years, according to the statement.
Shortly after the attack, a rocket barrage from Gaza was fired at southern Israel.
One of the rockets hit a residential building in Ashdod city, causing damage and injuring three people, according to a statement by Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency health service.
According to a military notice on Monday, some 3,150 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory.
About 460 of these rockets failed to reach Israel and fell within the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s Iron Dome Air Defence System has intercepted about 90 per cent of the rockets, the army said.
At least 200 people in the besieged Palestinian enclave were killed, including 59 children.
Meanwhile, 10 people were killed in Israel, including a five-year-old boy and a soldier.