Baha Abu al-Ata (Arabic: بهاء أبو العطا‎; 25 November 1977 – 12 November 2019) was a leader of Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine (PIJ).[1] On 12 November 2019, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) killed Abu al-Ata and his wife in a targeted killing, four of their children and a neighbour were also reportedly injured.[2] The killings triggered clashes between Israelis and Palestinians.[3][4] Khalil Batanai became the new leader of PIJ.[5]

Baha Abu al-Ata
Commands heldIslamic Jihad Movement in Palestine
Battles/warsGaza–Israel clashes

Al-Quds Brigades

Al-Ata was born on 25 November 1977 in Shuja'iyya. He joined Al-Quds Brigades, an armed wing of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, in 1990,[6] later becoming its head.[7][8] The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said, before his death, that Abu al-Ata commanded the PIJ's efforts in the northern region of the Gaza Strip,[9] and was responsible for several attacks carried out against Israel in 2019, such as missile strikes towards the Israeli city of Sderot in August, and against the city of Ashdod in September. According to the IDF, Abu al-Ata planned to execute additional attacks in the future.[10][11]


On 12 November 2019, the IDF killed Abu al-Ata in a targeted air strike. The operation was based on specific intelligence provided by Shin Bet.[3] Clashes began between Gaza and Israel following his death.[4]


  1. ^ Lieber, Dov (12 November 2019). "Israel Kills Islamic Jihad Leader, Prompting Gaza Rocket Attack". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  2. ^ Israel kills top Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant in Gaza, BBC
  3. ^ a b Carey, Andrew; Khadder, Kareem; Qiblawi, Tamara (12 November 2019). "Islamic Jihad leader killed in Israeli air strike". CNN. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Rocket sirens sound in Tel Aviv after Israel kills Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza". The Independent. 12 November 2019. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  5. ^ IDF aircraft strike Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip
  6. ^ Rasgon, Adam; Gross, Judah Ari (12 November 2019). "Slain Islamic Jihad commander rocketed to prominence in year before his death". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  7. ^ Hendrix, Steve; Eglash, Ruth (12 November 2019). "Israel kills a senior leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza airstrike". Washington Post. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  8. ^ Ahronheim, Anna (12 November 2019). "Who was Islamic Jihad's Baha Abu al-Ata and why did Israel want him dead? - Arab-Israeli Conflict - Jerusalem Post". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  9. ^ Kershner, Isabel; Abuheweila, Iyad; Halbfinger, David M. (12 November 2019). "Israel Kills Senior Islamic Jihad Commander in Gaza". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  10. ^ "Flare-up as Israel kills top Palestinian militant". BBC. 12 November 2019. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  11. ^ "Israel kills powerful Islamic Jihad commander Abu al-Ata in targeted Gaza strike". The Times of Israel. 12 November 2019. Retrieved 12 November 2019.