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.

 

Egypt delays Gaza talks after Israeli soldier kidnap

Libya jihadists declare Benghazi ‘Islamic emirate’

Morocco king deplores unequal wealth distribution

US plans largest ever sale of lethal missiles to Iraq

Qatar invests in Israeli soccer

Lebanon suspends work permits for Ebola-hit countries

Emirates Airline suspends flights to Guinea

Baghdad bomb blasts kill at least ten

Identification of Air Algerie crash victims ‘could take years’

Philippines prepares to evacuate 13,000 citizens from Libya

Jihadists fight on more than one front in Syria

Sudan Christian woman chooses US as final destination to settle down

France moves to disband violent Jewish group

Chief of Iran Quds Force ridicules calls to disarm Hamas

US supports Israel with weapons, Gaza with sweet words

Syria Kurds battle jihadists killing nearly 50

West watches post-Gathafi Libya descend in chaos

Carnage in Gaza Strip as death toll passes 1,300

Mosul’s residents rise up against jihadists

Militants fire at Tunisia army helicopter

Islamists capture key Benghazi army base

16 killed in Israeli shelling of UN school in Gaza

Italian fire-fighting planes to come to Libya rescue

Syria rebels advance towards Hama military airport

Bloodshed in Gaza surges amid no truce

Major western powers call for Libya ceasefire

US-Israeli ties sink to new depths over Gaza war

UN warns buying oil from terrorists could lead to sanctions

Air Algerie crash black boxes sent to France

Warning of Tripoli catastrophe after huge oil depot blaze

US, UN call for immediate Gaza ceasefire

Egypt army kills 14 jihadists in restive Sinai Peninsula

Calls for temporary Gaza ceasefire fall on deaf ears

Yemen army foils new Qaeda attempt to seize military posts

Investigators need ‘few days’ to probe cause of Algeria plane crash

Tunisia army suffers more losses in open war with terrorism

Jihadists advance amid escalation in Syria anti-regime offensive

Iraq Shiite militia takes bloody revenge against ‘Islamic State’ in Baquba

Fierce clashes kill at least 38 people in Benghazi

Israel resumes devastating military assault on Gaza

Thousands face famine as food security situation worsens in Somalia

Death toll in Gaza climbs as fragile ceasefire reveals destruction

Egypt summons Turkey charge d'affaires for second time in one week

‘Islamic State’ jihadists dynamite Shiite shrine in Mosul

US evacuates embassy staff in Libya over ‘real risk’