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.


Iraqi forces advancing on Mosul face stiff resistance

No Russian air strikes on Aleppo in 7 days

Thousands of Yemenis await lifting of Coalition blockade

UN receives reports of dozens of IS atrocities near Mosul

In violation of constitution, Iraq parliament votes to ban alcohol

Mosul survivors recount fleeing IS 'caliphate'

Report finds Israeli forces could have avoided killings

NATO flies first surveillance mission backing anti-IS coalition

Russian FM says Mosul offensive equivalent to Moscow's Aleppo bombing

Saudi Arabia denies it imposed Yemen blockade

Syria Kurds say Turkey wants to prevent Raqa recapture

Anger at Israel national theatre show in occupied West Bank

Hundreds protest against UN 'complicity' in rebel-held Yemen capital

Turkey FM says ground operation in Iraq a possibility

Iraqi forces retake town from IS

Iran nuclear negotiator cleared of spying charges

Al-Shabaab in suicide bomb attack on AU base in Somalia

Gunmen kill two policemen in eastern Saudi Arabia

Iraqi paramilitary to block IS from fleeing Mosul for Syria

Two imams arrested in Ibiza over 'Islamic State support'

US general raises Yemen concerns with Saudi officials

At least 10 hurt in southern Turkey explosion

French FM annoys Turkey by contrasting states of emergency

UN planning for 150,000 displaced by Mosul battle

UAE jails Sudanese man for planning attacks on immigrants

Qatar in 3 days of mourning for former emir

16 civilians dead in bombardment of Syria's rebel-held Idlib

Civilians suffer in IS 'smoke war'

74 jihadists dead after IS assault on Kirkuk

Nearly 100 civilians dead in Turkey-backed Syria op

Kuwait says more work required to counter IS funding

Mosul refugees under IS fire at Syrian border

Morocco king calls for public administration reform

Israeli air force strikes Gaza

Russia not considering renewing Aleppo ceasefire

Israel minister: ‘we will completely destroy’ Gaza in next war

Mosul battle sees highest number of US air strikes yet

Palestinians free four held after visiting settlement during Sukkot

IS executes five Iraqis in western town

Baghdad denies Ankara taking part in Mosul operation

Clashes, air strikes end Aleppo ceasefire

Iraq forces press Mosul assault

UN call to extend Yemen truce falls on deaf ears

Turkey reports over 35,000 people in detention after coup attempt

Iraq forces fight to tighten noose around Mosul