Thursday, December 08, 2011

8-Dec-11: Heightened terror alert in southern Israel

Ynet is quoting the Israeli defense establishment this evening saying that civilians living in southern Israeli communities that border on Gaza are instructed "to remain near their shelters over fears that rockets will be fired on the area after the Israeli Air Force carried out a strike against Gaza terrorists, killing two operatives most likely preparing to carry out a terror attack through Sinai."

It reported earlier in the day that aircraft of the IDF targetted a vehicle transporting Assam Subahi Ismail Batash, a senior terrorist in Gaza. This person is said to have been "the mastermind behind several terror attacks carried out by militants who infiltrated into Israel from the Sinai Peninsula". The Office of the IDF Spokesperson is reporting that the terrorists "affiliated with a terrorist squad that intended to execute a terrorist attack against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers via the western border".

It names the senior target (using slightly different spelling - not uncommon when transliterating from Arabic) as Isam Subahi Isamil Batash, born in 1968, from Gaza City, "a senior operative in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades". It says he was responsible for "the suicide bombing in Eilat (January 2007), in which three Israeli civilians were killed. In recent years, a number of Batash’s attempted attacks were thwarted." If that's right, then there will now be no need to thwart him any further.

The attack on the terrorists' vehicle, according to the report in Haaretz, happened when "The car in which the two were traveling went up in flames on the crowded Omar al-Mukhtar street, [Gazan] medical officials said." A crowded market street, yet no one else was hurt. Evidently the goal of the counter-terrorist side must have been definite and precise; so too was the execution. Will the mainstream media commentariat say anything about that aspect, do you think?

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