Tayseer al-Jabari, the top Islamic Jihad commander killed in the Israeli bombing of an apartment in the Gaza Strip on Friday, was in charge of the terrorist group’s rocket arsenal and was its primary coordinator with Hamas.
He replaced Baha Abu Al-Ata, another Islamic Jihad commander, who Israel killed in a similar airstrike in November 2019.
Jabari, 50, had been a member of Islamic Jihad for decades, climbing the ranks of the terrorist group that is backed by Iran and whose leaders reside in Syria.
He was said to be involved in planning significant attacks against Israel, including with the use of anti-tank missiles. The IDF said that it had collected intelligence about Jabari’s plans several weeks ago and also before the arrest of the senior Islamic Jihad operative in the West Bank at the beginning of the week, which was used by the terrorist group as an excuse to escalate the situation along the border.
Last year - during the last conflict between Israel and Gaza - a cell commanded by Jabari shot at an Israeli car traveling near the border with Gaza. One Israeli was lightly wounded.
“Jabari directed attacks during Operation Guardian of the Walls and oversaw the firing of hundreds of rockets against Israel,” said IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ran Kochav.
Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhalah, who is based in Damascus, vowed to avenge Jabari’s killing.
"We are heading to battle, and there is no truce after this airstrike,” Nakhalah said. "The results of this war will be in favor of the Palestinian people. The enemy should expect a battle, not a truce."