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The Israeli military killed a second senior Islamic Jihad commander in the southern part of the Gaza Strip late Saturday, the day after the military killed another senior militant commander in the north, the Israeli government said Sunday.
On Saturday, Israeli authorities announced the death of Khaled Mansour, who led the Iran-backed militant group’s operations, a day after a coordinated airstrike took out Tayseer Jabari, the senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad Commanding Officer of the terrorist group’s Northern Gaza Division.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid called Saturday’s strike “an extraordinary achievement” that was conducted as a joint operation by its military and intelligence agencies.
The strike is the latest in a recent escalation of violence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, which has left 29 dead. The attacks were preceded by hundreds of rockets that have been launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel, officials said.
ISRAEL KILLS TOP ISLAMIC JIHAD TERRORIST IN GAZA, ANNOUNCES FORMAL MILITARY OPERATION
Lapid said his military would continue to launch strikes “in a pinpoint and responsible way in order to reduce to a minimum the harm to noncombatants.”
“The operation will continue as long as necessary,” he added.
ISRAEL, GAZA MILITANTS EXCHANGE FIRE, MOVE CLOSER TO WAR
A strike on Friday also took out the head of the anti-tank guided missile array and several terrorist squads as they were preparing attacks against Israel, the IDF said.
Palestinian officials said the airstrike left at least 15 people dead, including a senior militant leader and a 5-year-old girl.
A joint statement from Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz said its goal was to eliminate the “threat against the citizens of Israel and the civilians living adjacent to the Gaza Strip, as well as the targeting of terrorists and their sponsors.”
“The Israeli government will not allow terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip to set the agenda in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip and threaten the citizens of the State of Israel,” said Lapid. “Anyone who tries to harm Israel should know: we will find you.”
Rocket fire from Gaza into Israel continued as of Sunday morning.
Fox News’ Ruth Marks Eglash, Yonat Friling and the Associated Press contributed to this report.