At least 12 Palestinians were killed in the strikes and 20 others were wounded, according to Palestinian reports, with a number of sites in Gaza City, Rafah and Khan Yunis targeted, among other locations.
The Israeli military said in a statement that the Islamic Jihad resistance commanders in the strikes include Khalil Bahitini, the commander of the al-Quds Brigades in the northern Gaza Strip, Tareq Ezzaldin, a spokesperson for the movement who also manages retaliatory operations in the West Bank and Gaza, and Jihad Ghanem, secretary of the movement’s military council.
Following the onset of air raids, dubbed Operation Shield and Arrow, Israeli minister of military affairs Yoav Gallant declared a “special situation at the top” and approved the call-up of reservists “for required roles according to needs.”
Highways were closed around the Gaza Strip border, railway traffic south of the city of Ashkelon was halted, and special instructions were issued by the Home Front Command to the public.
According to the Israeli army, Bahitini was the most senior operational commander in the Islamic Jihad and was responsible for the rocket fire toward occupied territories in the past month. Bahitini was apparently planning further rocket fire in the near future.
Ezzaldin was responsible for the communications between the movement and its branches in the West Bank and for transferring funds and coordinating resistance active in the occupied lands.
Ghanem was one of the most senior and veteran operatives in Islamic Jihad and served at one point as the commander of the al-Quds Brigades in the southern Gaza Strip.
In his latest position, Ghanem was responsible for coordinating the transfer of funds and weapons from the movement to Hamas.
Alongside the assassinations, six military compounds and a military position belonging to the Islamic Jihad were targeted as well.
The Islamic Jihad resistance movement confirmed that the three senior officials were killed, along with their wives and some of their children.
“We affirm that the blood of the martyrs will increase our resolve, and we will not leave our positions, and the resistance will continue,” the group said.