This afternoon, the IDF announced that it had killed Ahmed Abu-Deka, the deputy commander of the rocket launching force of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, in an airstrike in Gaza. However, the military could have gotten Abu-Deka two days earlier, and held off on attacking due to the presence of human shields.
Maj. Gen. Eliezer Toledano, the head of the IDF's Southern Command. told reporters this afternoon (Thursday) “We started with the [senior] command in the opening strike. From there we continued for a second attack last night where we killed the head of the rocket array. And now we killed his deputy."
Toledano was referring to the assassination last night of Ali Ghali, another senior Islamic Jihad terrorist who commanded the organization's rocket-firing squads and who outranked Abu-Deka.
“The important idea is to reach those people who make use of human shields to protect themselves from us, and conduct fighting from urban areas,” he added.
IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagarai specified that the IDF had Abu-Deka under surveillance for two days but did not attack until he was no longer around civilians.
“We were waiting for him to be separated from the family he used as a human shield,” Hagari said.
Today, the IDF published a video showing an IAF pilot aborting an airstrike against an Islamic Jihad target after two children were spotted in the area of the target.