After confirming the death of Ahmed Jabari, commander of Hamas’s military arm, Ezz e-din al-Qassam, Hamas announced: We are now at war with Israel. Jabari, 52, was killed by a targeted Israeli air attack in Gaza City. A key figure in the radical Palestinian Hamas movement, he was caught driving in a black Mercedes in Gaza City. Hamas has announced a general call-up and threatened to respond not just with rockets but suicide attacks. Israeli sources say the air operation called Pillar of Cloud is underway against more Hamas leaders and its military infrastructure and rocket stocks across the Gaza Strip until peace is restored to southern Israel.
debkafile’s military sources report that southern Israeli is on high alert in expectation of a furious Hamas reprisal for the loss of its leading terror strategist. Areas such as Gedera and Gan Yavneh which have escaped most missile attacks may now be targeted. Israel may also expect repercussions from Cairo since Jabari was a favorite of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood and his death occurred the day after Egypt brokered a ceasefire in the missile offensive from the Gaza Strip. That “ceasefire” was violated Wednesday with five Grad rockets against the Eshkol district.