Israel Deploys Iron Dome Amid Islamic Jihad Leader's Assassination Anniversary

The military is preparing for missile fire beyond the south as well, as Islamic Jihad militants may fire on Israel to commemorate targeted killing of Baha Abu al-Ata

Yaniv Kubovich
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An Iron Dome missile defense system battery in central Israel, March 11, 2019.
An Iron Dome missile defense system battery in central Israel, March 11, 2019.Credit: Gil Cohen-Magen
Yaniv Kubovich

The Israeli military deployed Iron Dome missile defense system batteries in the south Wednesday morning due to concerns that Islamic Jihad militants may shoot rockets from Gaza to mark the one-year anniversary of the assassination of the organization’s northern Gaza commander, Baha Abu al-Ata.

The IDF is also preparing for the possibility of longer-range rocket fire, which would reach beyond Israel's south.

November 12 marks one year since Israel assassinated the Islamic Jihad leader, who was behind a substantial amount of rocket fire from Gaza into Israel in the year leading up to his death. The military had called him a "ticking time bomb."

The IDF's Operation Black Belt started directly after, and lasted 48 hours. During the campaign, Israel targeted Islamic Jihad sites, intentionally avoiding those belonging to Hamas.  

After the targeted killing, the Prime Minister's Office released a statement saying that the IDF chief of staff and the head of the Shin Bet had recommended Abu al-Ata'as assasination, and that the decision was brought before the diplomatic-security cabinet, who approved it.

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