Ata "is responsible for most of the terror attacks in the past year from the Gaza Strip", the army said, describing him as a "ticking bomb". Syrian state media earlier reported that at least two people were killed and six wounded in an attack in the early hours that targeted a building in Damascus, without saying who had been targeted or who had carried out the attack.
The airstrike damaged the half of the second and most of the third floors of a house in the Shejaeya neighborhood east of the city.
Speaking to MEE, political analyst Adnan abu-Amer said that abul-Ata's killing was the first assassination of a senior Palestinian resistance leader since 2012, when Israel killed the senior leader of Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, Ahmed al-Jaabari.
Around the same time as Al-Ata was killed, another senior figure from PIJ was killed in an Israeli rocket strike on his home in the Syrian capital, Damascus, Syria's state news agency Sana said.
A rocket is fired from Gaza towards Israel, in Gaza November 12, 2019.
Israeli authorities said schools across southern Israel and the Tel Aviv region were closed after rockets reached the area.
The Palestinian militant group Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip and is considered a rival of the PIJ, condemned Al-Ata's killing, vowing it "will not pass without punishment".
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She is always in contact with her family, he says, so when her brother couldn't reach her the next day, the family called police. His jail booking photo shows him with a swollen left eye, but no further details were released about his apparent injuries.
Shortly after the attack, salvo's of rockets were launched from Gaza into Israel, with sirens wailing across central and southern parts of the country.
In the separate strike, Islamic Jihad confirmed one of its officials, Akram Ajouri, was targeted in Damascus.
Israel had no further plans to resume its assassinations of militant leaders _ a practice that in the past has triggered heavy fighting.
Just this week Netanyahu appointed hard-line politician Naftali Bennett as Israel's new defense minister.
He said that Hamas would never take an isolated decision in any of the Palestinian issues, and that any measure must be discussed with the other Palestinian factions and a collective decision be taken by all of them together.
On Monday morning at 11 AM the IDF spokesperson tweeted that IDF aircraft attacked two terrorists belonging to a long range rocket squad of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization in the northern Gaza Strip.