Early Sunday morning, the Israeli Air Force targeted a known Palestinian terrorist responsible for many attacks against Israel. The IAF successfully carried out a mission in the Gaza Strip against Abdallah Kharti, a member of the Popular Resistance Committees.
The army confirmed that Kharti was heavily injured in the attack and a grave threat against Israel has been eliminated. Born in 1985, Kharti is a key figure in the Popular Resistance Committees and greatly affiliated with global jihad movements. Kharti is personally responsible for the planning and execution of numerous rocket attacks against Israel, including the more recent incidents of rocket fire towards Israel. He was targeted while riding his motorcycle near the town of Dir al-Balah.
In a statement released by the IDF, IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said, “The IDF acted to remove an immediate threat on the citizens of the State of Israel.” He further explained that “Precision munitions combined with advanced intelligence enable us [IDF] to strike terrorists like Kharti while they attempt to use Hamas’s Gaza as a haven for their hostilities.”
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon commented on the recent hit by the IDF and made it clear that Israel would not stand for increased violence: “We will not tolerate the disruption of the lives of our citizens, and we will act decisively against anyone who harms or tries to harm the state of Israel.”
Ya’alon further iterated that Israel would do all in its power to punish those who attack Israel. “We will pursue with determination every terrorist operative who tries to harm the security of Israeli citizens, and we’ll cause him to pay a very heavy price,” Ya’alon warned. “We see Hamas as being responsible for what occurs in the Gaza Strip, and if it does not know how to enforce authority in its territory, we will know how to exact a price from it too.”
Since the beginning of 2014, Gazan terrorists have launched 33 rockets into Israeli territory. The Shin Bet has warned Israel in a recent report that terror is on the rise and rocket attacks in 2014 have surpassed all time records. Reports from Gaza indicate Hamas is preparing to escalate hostilities against Israel when it removed its rocket prevention unit from the border between Gaza and Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear that the targeted attack against Kharti is Israel’s form of self defense against terrorism: “Our resolute policy against terrorism may be summed up simply: Whoever attacks us, or plans to – will bear the consequences.”Sunday’s strike comes after a week in which at least four rockets were fired into Israel last week.