Israeli airstrike kills three Hamas commanders, Palestinians vow revenge
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/21/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Israeli airstrikes killed three senior Hamas commanders in the Gaza Strip and announced that they would continue to target the terrorist group's leadership after the ceasefire between the two failed.
An Israeli military airstrikes killed three top Hamas commanders, part of a new strategy by Israel after Egyptian managed peace talks failed on August 19.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The men were identified by Hamas as Mohammed Abu Shammala, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhoum, the three highest-ranking casualties the group has announced since Israel began its current offensive six weeks ago.
All three were killed in a strike against a house in the town of Rafah in southern Gaza, and the group reported that the three had led operations against Israel over the last 20 years.
Reports say that tens of thousands of Palestinians attended the funerals of the dead Hamas commanders, many of whom swore revenge on Israel.
The Israeli military and the internal security service, Shin Bet, confirmed that two of the men had been the targets.
Since the August 19 collapse of the Gaza ceasefire, the Israeli military has ramped up its efforts to hit the leadership of the armed wing of Hamas, the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades.
"We will continue to seek out and target Hamas leaders anywhere, and everywhere - wherever they are," said Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon.
Israel began the current offensive on July 8 with the aim of stopping the firing of rockets into Israel from Palestine, and destroy tunnels built by Hamas that led into Israel. Gaza health officials say that 2,066 Palestinians have been killed.
In contrast, only sixty-four Israeli soldiers have been killed so far, including three civilians who died within Israel.
During the August 21 funeral for the three Hamas commanders, tens of thousands of Palestinians marched and fired weapons into the air, calling out for revenge against Israel.
A former chief of Israel's military intelligence, and the current head of Tel Aviv University's INSS think-tank, Amos Yadlin, said that Israel is changing its plan after the Cairo-held ceasefire talks failed.
"The prime minister has adopted a strategy which says, 'You shoot at us, we'll hit you seven times harder, you want attrition? We have intelligence and an air force that will crush you with greater force'," he told Israel Radio.
"Even the crazy extremists in Hamas understand time is not on their side and this is what we need to do-military activity aimed at an eventual diplomatic outcome," he said.
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