Comment: Note: 'Islamic Jihad' has nothing to do with those so-called Islamic jihadists who wrecked Libya, Iraq and Syria. This is the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, a self-defence organization in the Gaza Strip and West Bank that was founded in 1981. A political rival to Hamas, this Islamic Jihad is backed by Iran, partners with Hezbollah, and has been increasing in strength since Israel put the squeeze on Hamas. Hence Israel's extra-territorial targeting of two of its leaders in Gaza and Syria this week...

islamic jihad soldier gaza
© Reuters/Mohammed Salem
A Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant stands guard at the scene of an Israeli strike that killed the group's field commander Baha Abu Al-Atta in Gaza City November 12, 2019.
A strike on a Damascus home belonging to an Islamic Jihad official has killed the man's son, in what appears to be part of an Israeli operation to assassinate leaders of the Palestinian militant group in Gaza and Syria.

Islamic Jihad issued a statement on Tuesday confirming the attack, identifying the official as Akram al-Ajouri. A separate missile strike reportedly hit a civilian building near the Lebanese Embassy in the western district of the capital that is home to Damascus University and several diplomatic missions.

The group did not immediately accuse anyone of carrying out the strike, although it occurred shortly after an Israeli attack killed a top Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza.

Israel braced for retaliatory attacks after carrying out the strikes. Air sirens sounded in central Israel, warning of possible rocket attacks from Gaza.

Twitter users shared videos showing a rocket exploding right on the highway.

Videos posted to social media appear to show rockets in the skies above Israel.

In targeted areas, schools were closed and all non-essential work halted.

The IDF launched an additional attack at 'Islamic Jihad' targets in Gaza less than an hour after reporting its tanks had devastated several targets, claiming Israel was under fire by rockets sent by the group.

In an earlier strike on Gaza, the IDF claimed to have taken out two Islamic Jihad operatives as they were "prepar[ing] to fire more rockets," in a tweet accompanied by hashtag #JiHadEnough. The Israeli military accused the group of firing "dozens of rockets" into Israel, many of which were reportedly intercepted by the country's Iron Dome missile defense system.

At least two Palestinians were killed and two more injured in an Israeli airstrike on eastern al-Shejaya in Gaza, according to the Palestinian health ministry.