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.

 

Iraq Kurds start voting in historic independence referendum

Erdogan threatens Iraqi Kurds with border closure, oil block

US-led strikes killed 84 civilians near Syria's Raqa

Iran shuts border with Iraqi Kurdistan

Dubai set to become first city with flying taxis

UAE announces plans for region’s first nuclear reactor

Putin to visit Erdogan this week for Syria, Iraq talks

Sudan vows to step up efforts to improve US ties

Turkey to launch intervention into Syria — and maybe into Iraq

Egyptian ‘world’s heaviest woman’ dies in Abu Dhabi

Palestinian unity government remains unlikely

Emirati man fights his employer to serve in country’s army

Palestinian PM to visit Gaza next week

Saudi advisory body to tackle female driving ban

Turkey denies closing Iraqi border in response to Kurdish vote

US air strikes kill 17 Islamic State militants in Libya

Yemen's Hadi says military solution 'most likely'

The high cost of Syria’s destruction

Palestinian negotiator awaits lung transplant in US

Kurds ready for contentious vote in Iraq

A Kurdish state: Reality or utopia?

Saudi intercepts missile fired from Yemen

Saudi Arabia marks national day with fireworks, concerts

Iran defies US, tests missile

Turkey warns of 'security' steps in response to Iraqi Kurd vote

Barzani delays Kurdish independence vote announcement

Syria's war off the radar at UN assembly

For many Iraqis, tradition trumps police

Darfur clashes kill 3 as Bashir urges reconciliation

Saudi cleric banned for saying women have ‘quarter’ brain

Veteran Syrian activist, daughter assassinated in Istanbul

Tunisia drops forced anal exams for homosexuality

Bomb used in Saudi-led strike on Yemen children US-made

Syria Kurds vote to cement federal push

Police charge teenager over London Underground attack

Nigerian official to meet Turkish counterpart over illegal guns

Thousands feared trapped in Raqa as IS mounts last stand

Iraqi forces achieve first step in new offensive on IS

Migrant boat sinks off Turkish Black Sea coast leaving four dead, 20 missing

Trump praises 'friend' Erdogan

Yemen leader promises UN to open entire country to aid

Rouhani vows Iran will boost missiles despite US criticism

Russia clashes with EU over Syria

UN Security Council warns against holding Iraqi Kurd vote

UN sets up probe of IS war crimes in Iraq