In an address to the nation, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi and Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman described Baha Abu Al-Atta of the Islamic Jihad, who was killed in Gaza on Tuesday, as the most dangerous terrorist facing Israel. He planned and executed a campaign of terror that included hundreds of rocket attacks and was ready to go with plenty more. Abu Al-Atta was the main obstacle holding back any truce deals with Hamas. Netanyahu said the cabinet decided unanimously ten days ago to take him out on the advice of the IDF and Shin Bet and only waited for the right opportunity. This occurred on Tuesday morning. The operation was precise and timely, said Netanyahu in his last hours as defense minister.
Gen. Kochavi praised the combined operation of the military and security service for the operation’s success. Israel has no interest in further escalation, he said, but if happens, “our ground, air and naval arms are fully prepared and more targeted assassinations will be carried out if necessary.” Argaman: “The people of southern Israel can feel more secure now that this arch terrorist is gone.” He stressed that Israel can reach any terrorists seeking to harm Israel.
All three officials urged the population to comply strictly with the security directives issued by the IDF Home Front Command for their own safety, indicating that the current emergency may go on for some days.