It’s being reported that the Israeli Air Forces bombed the car of Ahmed Jabari today in Gaza City, killing both him and his son. Jabari’s role in Hamas’ activity is being described as that of an army chief of staff, including the direction of terrorist and rockets attacks against Israel and the 2006 abduction of Gilad Shalit.
“By nature of his position, Jabari has been responsible over the past decade for all anti-Israel terror activity emanating from the [Gaza] Strip,” the Shin Bet security agency said in a statement. Israeli military officials, speaking on condition of anonymity under army regulations, said Jabari was identified by “precise intelligence” gathered over several months.
Israel announced this move and other strikes as the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense. In doing so, Hamas has said that Israel has “opened the gates of hell.” From the looks of it, a war with Hamas is not likely, but has just started.
Update, 10:50 AM: It’s now being reported by Haaretz that Israel is preparing for an invasion of Gaza.
Update, 11:38 AM: Hamas says Israel has killed Raed al-Atar, the military wing leader in Rafah, Gaza. Israel also has struck multiple launch sites and ammunition factories for long-range rockets. Classes in Ashdod and Sde Boker have been canceled and the IDF spokesman warns residents of southern Israel of some tough days ahead. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood has called on President Morsi to reassess relationship with Israel.
Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.