Fri 13 Dec 2019

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Israel targets deputy Islamic Jihad chief’s house in Damascus, son killed

The Islamic Jihad Palestinian leader’s house targeted by Israeli airstrikes in Syria on 12 November 2019. (SANA)

The Islamic Jihad Palestinian leader’s house targeted by Israeli airstrikes in Syria on 12 November 2019. (SANA)

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Israeli airstrikes targeted the house of Akram al-Ajouri, an official in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement in Damascus on Tuesday 12 November, killing his son. The attack followed the assassination of senior Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata in the Gaza Strip.

Syria’s state news agency SANA quoted a Syrian military source, “our air defenses confronted three enemy missiles launched by Israeli warplanes towards some of our positions in Homs and in the vicinity of Damascus”.

He said that two missile strikes targeting al-Ajouri’s house killed his son, Moaaz, and Abdullah Youssef, whose relation to the commander remains unknown. The strikes also wounded his granddaughter along with nine other civilians in the Mezzah district in western Damascus.

Several photos published by SANA depicted the aftermath of the strike, showing a damaged two-story building in which al-Ajouri resided, and debris strewn over cars. The building is located in a densely populated neighborhood and is surrounded by several councils and embassies.

The Israeli army’s Arabic-language spokesperson, Avichay Adraee, tweeted about the assassination of Baha Abu al-Ata in Gaza, and his vital role as a commander in the strip. However, he declined to mention any details on the attempted assassination of al-Ajouri in Damascus.

An Islamic Jihad official confirmed, today, the death of Abu al-Ata, and that al-Ajouri’s house was targeted by “the Zionist criminal enemy”.

Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria since the beginning of the conflict in 2011. However, this is its first attempt at assassinating a Palestinian leader by airstrikes in Syria.

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