JERUSALEM—The European Union’s ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret, said he’s “extremely concerned” about the evolving security situation as Israel came under heavy rocket fire from Gaza Tuesday morning
“A rapid deescalation is needed, indiscriminate rocket fire is unacceptable,’’ he said.
The Israeli army said 50 rockets were fired at Israel, including Tel Aviv, after the Air Force bombed a building in the Gaza Strip in a targeted strike which killed Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Bahaa Abu Al-Ata.
The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed that Israel was responsible for the airstrike which killed Al-Ata, who it described as a “senior Islamic Jihad commander” who master-minded “numerous terrorist attacks and rocket attacks against the State of Israel in recent months and who intended to immediately carry out further attacks.”
”The IDF action was recommended by the IDF Chief-of-Staff and ISA Director and was approved by the Prime Minister and Defense Minister after it had been presented to – and approved by – the Security Cabinet,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Abu Al Ata directed and personally participated in a range of terrorist attacks and attempts to harm Israeli civilians and IDF troops. He was preparing to commit additional terror attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF troops in the coming days, and therefore posed an imminent threat.
Schools are closed in the south and the central Gush Dan region of Israel due to the sensitive security situation, according to Israel’s Home Front Command. Residents in central Israel can go to work if they are close to a bomb shelter.
The UK issued an updated travel warning to nationals in light of the military escalation in Israel and the Gaza Strip.
“You should keep up to date with the news and this travel advice while traveling,” the Foreign Office said.