Palestinian militants fire rockets into Israel after air strike in Damascus leaves two members of Islamic Jihad group dead

Israeli defence minister Naftali Bennett said, 'We have eliminated six terrorists in the past 24 hours, not just in Gaza'

Reuters February 24, 2020 18:48:12 IST
Palestinian militants fire rockets into Israel after air strike in Damascus leaves two members of Islamic Jihad group dead
  • Palestinian militants fired rockets from Gaza into Israel on Monday after an Israeli air strike in Damascus killed two members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group

  • Israeli jets carried out strikes on suspected Islamic Jihad positions in Syria just before midnight on Sunday after the militants and Israeli forces clashed over the Gaza border

  • Israeli defence minister Naftali Bennett said, 'We have eliminated six terrorists in the past 24 hours, not just in Gaza'

Gaza: Palestinian militants fired rockets from Gaza into Israel on Monday after an Israeli air strike in Damascus killed two members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group.

Israeli jets carried out strikes on suspected Islamic Jihad positions in Syria just before midnight on Sunday after the militants and Israeli forces clashed over the Gaza border.

Palestinian militants fire rockets into Israel after air strike in Damascus leaves two members of Islamic Jihad group dead

Representational image. AP

The strikes in the Adeliyah region outside Damascus targeted what the Israeli military called “a hub of Islamic Jihad’s activity in Syria”, including the research and development of weapons.

Islamic Jihad later said in a statement that two of its members were killed in the air strike. Israeli defence minister Naftali Bennett said, “We have eliminated six terrorists in the past 24 hours, not just in Gaza.”

The Syrian state news agency SANA quoted a military source as saying Israeli aircraft entered Syrian air space and targeted areas around Damascus with a wave of guided missiles.

Syrian state-run al-Ikhbariya television aired footage of what it said were explosions in the Damascus night sky showing Syria’s air defence system shooting down missiles.

The Syrian military source said most missiles were destroyed before reaching their targets. The strike escalated a round of hostilities which began around dawn on Sunday when, Israel said, its troops killed an Islamic Jihad member who was trying to plant explosives near Israel’s border fence with the Gaza Strip.

Video footage shot by a Gaza photographer and widely posted on social media showed what appeared to be the lifeless body of an Islamic Jihad militant dangling from an Israeli military bulldozer as it removed the corpse.

The images caused an uproar in Gaza, prompting calls for retaliation. Islamic Jihad later fired a barrage of rockets into Israel, drawing dozens of Israeli air strikes in Gaza.

The rocket barrages at Israeli border towns were renewed on Monday, sending residents to shelters and the military said it was closing downs roads in the area as a precaution. No casualties were reported.

A Palestinian official said truce talks were under way, mediated by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations.

But Islamic Jihad signalled that talk of a ceasefire was premature. “The Zionist aggression on Damascus and the martyrdom of two of our mujahideen in the bombing will not go without a response. The account isn’t settled yet,” Abu Hamza, a spokesman for Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, said on Twitter.

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