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Updated: November 14, 2019 3:18pm

Baha Abu Al-Ata and the Islamic Jihad

On November 12, 2019 at 4:00am (Israel Time) the Israeli Air Force conducted a surgical airstrike against Baha Abu Al-Ata. The Israeli Security Cabinet authorized over a week ago, in accordance to the recommendation of the Israeli military, secret service, and intelligence community, to eliminate Al-Ata and deemed him a “ticking bomb” and an “imminent threat” to Israel. Based on Israeli intelligence, Al-Ata was in the midst of preparing to commit immediate terror attacks towards Israeli civilians and IDF troops in the coming days. Al-Ata was a senior commander of the Islamic Jihad, a terrorist organization funded by Iran, in Gaza. He was responsible for hundreds of terrorist attacks targeting Israeli civilians.

Rockets from Gaza and the IDF Response

Since the elimination of Al-Ata:

  • 450+ rockets have been launched form Gaza strip towards 110 communities in Israel (see map below). That is an average of one rocket every 6.5 minutes for 48 hours straight. These rockets are deliberately aimed at innocent Israeli populations, hospitals, and children. In one incident, two bypassing cars on an Israeli highway were a number of feet away from being blown up by a direct hit of such a rocket (
  • 1 million+ Israeli children are confined to bomb shelters and are unable to go to school.

Israel has responded to this aggression by targeting Islamic Jihad rocket launchers, missile factories, rocket storage-spaces, and terrorist, while the Islamic Jihad is aiming their rockets at innocent kids, elders, women, and hospitals.

The Islamic Jihad had not only rejected ceasefire offers at first, they even claimed to increase the number of rockets launched at Israel. After numerous failed attempts, Egypt, acting as a mediator between Israel and the Islamic Jihad, had managed to have both parties agree to a ceasefire effective 5:30am (Israel time) on November 14. After the ceasefire has been in effect, the Islamic Jihad continued to launch rockets towards Israeli cities – one of them landing in a kindergarten.

Map of Targeted Israeli Cities by the Islamic Jihad Rockets

From the Twitter account of the Israeli Defense Force:

The Iron Dome and what this means for Israelis

Thanks to the Iron Dome and its remarkable success rate of over 90%, Israel has managed to save the lives of many Israeli babies, children, elders, and sick. Once the Iron Dome detects a launch of a rocket, it calculates in a matter of milliseconds if it should intercept a rocket, and at what point in its path should it do so. People usually have between 15-60 seconds from when they hear a siren to find shelter.

Unfortunately, the Iron Dome only protects against physical damage to lives, but there is still damage to infrastructure and mental health. The constant sirens alarms, lack of sleep during the night (as a result of having to run to the bomb shelter every few minutes) and experience the deadly rockets fly over people’s heads, all have an effect on the mental health of the civilians. The trauma they experience will forever be carried with the children and people who are targeted by the Islamic Jihad rockets.

In addition, schools are closed and businesses are shut. These are protective measures that have financial implications for the rural areas of Israel.

Timeline (Israel Time)

November 12, 2019

4:00am           IDF conducts surgical strike against the Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza, Baha Abu Al-Ata

5:51am           Islamic Jihad in Gaza begins intense rocket fire at Israel

7:59am           Rocket fire at Tel Aviv

11:01am         IDF targets 2 Islamic Jihad operatives preparing to launch rockets at Israel

12:11pm         IDF fighter jets strike Islamic Jihad terror targets in Gaza

12:17pm         Report of the Islamic Jihad refusing to a ceasefire and says it will increase the amount of rockets

12:22pm         More rockets fired at Israel

2:50pm           Dozens more rockets fired from Gaza at Israel. IDF strikes Islamic Jihad terror targets in Gaza including:

  • training compounds
  • underground weapon manufacturing sites
  • weapon storage facilities

3:23pm           False reports of an Israeli missile, rather than an Islamic Jihad rocket, hitting the Palestinian Commission for Human Rights in Gaza

4:00pm           IDF strikes additional Islamic Jihad targets.

8:03pm           Reports on Hamas notifying Egypt that it will also join the attacks on Israel

November 13, 2019

5:54am           Day starts with more Islamic Jihad rockets

7:47am           IDF strikes Islamic Jihad rocket squad

12:13pm         IDF strikes Islamic Jihad terror targets including:

  • Rocket warhead manufacturing facility
  • Khan Unis HQ of the Islamic Jihad
  • Weapons storage site
  • Naval commando vessel

12:29pm       Rockets fired at Israel

1:55pm          2 Islamic Jihad terrorists about to launch anti-tank missiles struck by IDF

2:20pm         IDF strikes Islamic Jihad terrorists about to fire rockets

3:57pm          Non-stop rockets at Israel

5:10pm          IDF strikes Islamic Jihad terrorist

8:32pm         IDF struck Islamic Jihad terror targets in Gaza including:

  • military compound
  • training compound
  • production site for rocket launchers

11:18pm        Barrage of rockets fired at Israel

November 14, 2019

12:05am        IDF strikes Islamic Jihad in Gaza terror posts

2:20am          Islamic Jihad launches a number of rockets at Israel

5:30am          Israel and Islamic Jihad, through Egyptian mediation, agree to a ceasefire

7:00am          Islamic Jihad launches more rockets towards Israeli cities on of them hitting a kindergarten

11:30am         Once again, Islamic Jihad launches 5 more rockets at Israel

8:49pm          Protest in Gaza to betray the ceasefire, calling to reign more rockets on Israeli cities

10:07pm        Sirens sound across Israel, and the Islamic Jihad leadership declaring it is considering the demand of the Gazan people to continue launching missiles

About the Author

The Endowment for Middle East Truth
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