AN Israeli airstrike has killed a senior commander of the militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

Baha Abu al-Ata died along with his wife when a missile hit their home, the group said. Four of their children and a neighbour were reportedly injured.

The Israeli military said Abu al-Ata was a “ticking bomb” who was planning “imminent terrorist attacks”.

At least 70 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza since the killing, which PIJ has vowed to avenge.

Twelve Israelis have been lightly wounded in rocket attacks across southern Israel, according to the Barzilai Medical Center in the city of Ashkelon.

Medics said an eight-year-old girl was also in a serious condition after collapsing as her family rushed towards a bomb shelter when an air raid siren sounded in Holon, south of Tel Aviv.

Around the same time as the attack on Abu la-Ata, two people were killed and 10 injured in an Israeli air strike on the home of another Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader in the Syrian capital, Damascus, Syria’s state news agency Sana said.

Israel did not comment on the report and it was not clear if the PIJ leader, Akram al-Ajouri, was among the dead. Sana said his son Moaz was killed.

PIJ, which is backed by Iran, has its headquarters in Damascus and is one of the strongest militant groups in Gaza.
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