Nearly a week after vowing a harsher response to rocket attacks, the Israeli military overnight Monday pummeled Gaza with airstrikes that killed at least 11 Islamic Jihad militants, according to Israeli military and militant sources.
A Palestinian firetruck arrives at the scene of an Israeli air raid Monday in Gaza City.
Israel Defense Forces said its initial airstrike late Monday targeted Islamic Jihad military leader Majed El Harazin, who was killed with two others when Israeli jets struck their car in Gaza City.
Around midnight, an Israeli aircraft fired at Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza City involved in preparing and launching Qassam rockets, the IDF said. Militant cell leader Karim Dahdouh was among the dead, the IDF said.
The militant group said three members of the rocket unit were killed when the warehouse was hit.
Hours later, an Israel airstrike struck Islamic Jihad militants who were firing Qassam rockets toward Israel from the Jebalya-Beit Lahiya area, the IDF said. Three militants were killed, the group said.
In the United States, White House National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe issued a statement supporting the airstrikes, saying, “Israelis have the right to live in a country in which there are not constant rocket attacks coming from terrorist groups in Gaza.”