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Israel kills Baha Abu Al-Ata, top Palestinian militant in Gaza Israel kills Baha Abu Al-Ata, top Palestinian militant in Gaza
(32 minutes later)
Israel has killed one of the most senior commanders of a militant group in the Gaza Strip in an air strike.Israel has killed one of the most senior commanders of a militant group in the Gaza Strip in an air strike.
Baha Abu Al-Ata, a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), was killed along with his wife, when a missile hit their home, the group said.Baha Abu Al-Ata, a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), was killed along with his wife, when a missile hit their home, the group said.
Israel said Al-Ata was a "ticking bomb" who was planning "imminent terrorist attacks".Israel said Al-Ata was a "ticking bomb" who was planning "imminent terrorist attacks".
A rocket barrage was fired at southern Israel from Gaza in the wake of the killing, which PIJ has vowed to avenge. Rocket barrages were fired at southern Israel from Gaza in the wake of the killing, which PIJ has vowed to avenge.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.There were no immediate reports of injuries.
PIJ, which is backed by Iran, is the second largest militant group in Gaza and has carried out many rocket attacks on Israel.PIJ, which is backed by Iran, is the second largest militant group in Gaza and has carried out many rocket attacks on Israel.
Around the same time as Al-Ata was killed, another senior figure from PIJ was killed in an Israeli rocket strike on his home in the Syrian capital, Damascus, Syria's state news agency Sana said.
Akram al-Ajouri died along with his son in the attack, Sana reported. Israel has not commented on the incident.
The Palestinian militant group Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip and is considered a rival of the PIJ, condemned Al-Ata's killing, vowing it "will not pass without punishment".
The overnight attacks mark a significant escalation in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant groups, which have fought each other in wars and cross-border violence for years.