First Published: 2012-11-14

 

Israel assassinates senior Hamas military commander in Gaza

 

Israeli air strike kills senior Hamas commander in Gaza City, prompting furious response from militants who said it has opened ‘gates of hell’.

 

Middle East Online

Jaabari had escaped many assassination attempts before

GAZA CITY (Palestinian Territories) - An Israeli air strike killed a senior Hamas military commander in Gaza City on Wednesday, prompting a furious response from militants who said it had opened "the gates of hell."

Israel said the killing of Ahmed Jaabari was the beginning of an operation to target militant groups across the Hamas-controlled territory.

The assassination follows a flareup in and around the Gaza border, which saw militants fire more than 120 rockets over the border, and Israel killing seven Palestinians.

The killing sparked furious protests in Gaza City, with hundreds of members of Hamas and the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades chanting for revenge inside Shifa hospital.

Witnesses reported at least six air strikes across the territory and said dozens of Israeli tanks were massed along the border east of Gaza City.

Hamas's armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, warned that "the occupation has opened the gates of hell on itself."

And Hamas issued a statement saying Israel would be responsible for the consequences of the assassination.

"The Palestinian government mourns the loss of the senior Palestinian leader Ahmed al-Jaabari, one of the symbols of the resistance and holds the occupation responsible for the consequences of this crime," a statement said.

Medical staff at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City also confirmed his death, saying his bodyguard was also killed in the strike.

Military spokeswoman Avital Leibovich said the strike was just the start of an operation targeting armed groups in Gaza following multiple rocket attacks on southern Israel.

"After the rocket fire of recent days, the chief of staff (Lieutenant General Benny Gantz) has decided to authorise the targeting of terrorist organisations in the Gaza Strip -- Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others," she told reporters, adding: "This is the beginning."

Israel's Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency and the military confirmed it was a targeted killing.

"During a joint operation of the General Security Service (Shin Bet) and the IDF (army) today, Ahmed Jaabari, the senior commander of the military wing of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, was targeted," a Shin Bet statement said.

"In the past hour, the IDF targeted Ahmed Jaabari, the head of Hamas's military wing, in the Gaza Strip," an army statement said, describing Jaabari as "a senior Hamas operative... directly responsible for executing terror attacks."

"The purpose of this operation was to severely impair the command and control chain of the Hamas leadership, as well as its terrorist infrastructure," it said.

Outside the hospital, armed men fired weapons into the air, and mosques throughout the city called prayers to mourn the commander's death.

 

Gunman kills prominent writer on steps of courthouse in Jordan

Campaigning for parliamentary polls begins in Morocco

EU mission to train Libya coastguard faces delay

Turkey sets precondition for joining US Raqa operation

Famous archway collapses on Moroccan beach

Death toll from Egypt migrant shipwreck jumps to 168

Warplanes pound Aleppo ahead of UN Syria meeting

Dubai drops charges against Briton who promoted charity

Israel sentences Islamic cleric for incitement

Mosul offensive to start in ‘next few weeks’

New wave of air strikes pummels Aleppo

US, Russia trade blame for collapse of ceasefire in Syria

Hadi vows to ‘extract Yemen from claws of Iran’

Obama vetoes bill allowing 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia

Morocco asks to rejoin African Union

Air raids pound rebel-held Aleppo

Turkey arrests prominent writer brothers

Egypt shipwreck death toll rises to 133

Gulen says will return to Turkey if US backs extradition

Occupation troops shoot, wound Palestinian with knife

UN eyes alternate aid delivery route for Syria's Aleppo

Iran condemns Saudi strikes in Yemen

Turkey's Erdogan says US arming Syrian Kurds

Obama to block Saudi 9/11 prosecution

Oil prices ease as focus shifts to producers' meeting

Opposition 'minister' among 12 dead in Syria car bomb

'13 dead' in clashes with IS in Libya's Sirte

20 civilians killed in Yemen rebel port raid

Turkish border town hit by rocket fired from Syria

Syria's White Helmets win Swedish human rights prize

UN pleads with Assad over food aid stuck at Syria border

Rouhani jabs USA over nuclear deal in UN address

Dozens more feared dead in Egypt boat tragedy

US breaks 'taboo' on Iran trade, banking

Kuwait MP gets new jail term for insulting Gulf rulers

Kuwait MPs demand urgent debate on petrol price hike

Dozens of rebels leave Homs under deal with Assad regime

Push for Iraq's Mosul faces myriad challenges

US drone strike kills 3 Qaeda suspects in Yemen

UN hopes Syria talks can resume in a 'few weeks'

Iraq forces recapture northern town from ISIS

Greece rejects asylum claim of Turkish 'coup' officer

Raids set rebel areas of Syria's Aleppo ablaze

Yemen rebels accuse detained American of spying

Israel arrests 35 Palestinians in raids