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.

 

Moroccans go to polls for local, regional elections

EU ministers to meet on escalating migrant crisis

Washington 'monitoring' reports Russian military is in Syria

Syria, Yemen conflicts on Obama-King Salman talks

IS jihadists blow up tower tombs at Syria's Palmyra

British PM mulls help for Syrian refugees

Iran submits peace plan to Syria's Assad

Father of drowned Syrian boy tells story of fatal journey

US energy firm gets tough on stalled Israel gas deal

Iran objects to Kuwait linking it to 'terror cell'

Cameron won’t accept more refugees for now

Mideast wars cause 13 million school dropouts

Turkey arrests '4 traffickers' over migrant toddler's death

Egypt sentences dozens of alleged Islamists in mass trial

Netanyahu defiant after Obama secures Iran deal support

Family of drowned child repeatedly displaced in Syria

Erdogan lashes out at EU over Med 'migrant cemetery'

Britain to Cameron: Do more for refugees!

German asylum dream for Iraqis hard to fulfill

Iran’s Basij militia puts on show of strength in Tehran

Death toll in IS Yemen mosque attack rises to 32

UN urges Lebanon parliament to elect president

Suicide bombers hit Shiite mosque in Yemen capital: witnesses

Netanyahu threatens to shoot stone-throwers

David Petraeus: Use Al-Qaeda fighters to battle IS

White House wins enough Senate support for Iran deal

12 Syrian migrants die off Turkish coast

Car bomb kills 10 in Syria regime bastion Latakia

Saudi top cleric slams Iran prophet movie

Iran police to confiscate cars of 'poorly veiled' women

Libya's Tripoli authorities undecided on joining peace talks

Lebanon protesters escalate “You Stink” campaign

Turkey transfers British reporters to new jail

Two Yemeni Red Cross staff killed

Qatar to begin enforcing key labour reform law from November

Syria war takes its toll on heritage riches

US carries out secret drone campaign in Syria

Gunmen kidnap 17 Turks in Iraq capital

Turkey government says it 'had no role' in reporters' arrest

IS claims Tripoli car bomb near oil firm

Dispute with Israel government keeps Christian schools shut

Kuwait charges 24 'linked to Iran' with plotting attacks

Turkey police raid anti-Erdogan media group after British reporters jailed

New Turkey caretaker government holds first meeting

Dozens of Lebanon protesters occupy environment ministry