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Israeli Airstrikes Kill Hamas Military Leader In Gaza

Sophie Elkus |
November 14, 2012 | 3:54 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Israeli airstrikes fired in the Gaza strip assassinated Hamas' military commander and others. (Creative Commons)
Israeli airstrikes fired in the Gaza strip assassinated Hamas' military commander and others. (Creative Commons)
More than 20 Israeli airstrikes were fired today in the Gaza Strip, assassinating Hamas’ military commander and least eight others, while targeting the group’s training facilities and rocket launchers, CNN reported.

President Mahmoud Abbas called for an emergency meeting with the Council of the League of Arab States to discuss the “Israeli aggression,” the Egyptian news agency MENA reported.

Palestinian leaders condemned the attacks as an escalation of existing tension. Hamas’ military wing warned that Israelis opened “the gates of hell on themselves” with the move, according to CNN.

Israeli military spokeswoman Lt. Colonel Avital Leobovich said that there are some reverse units in preparation for a ground attack, “but nothing more than that at this point.”

At least 35 airstrikes were fired in an eight-hour span, Hamas security sources confirmed. Later strikes were heard at nighttime, with additional hits to empty farmland in Gaza late Tuesday night.

Palestinian medical sources confirmed that nine people died in the air strikes. One death was to a young girl, while 35 others were wounded and 10 in critical condition. The health minister in Gaza contradicts the count with a death toll at seven, two young girls included.

The Israeli attacks, named “Operation Pillar of Defense” by military officials, followed a warning from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyau this week of potential retaliation for increased rocket attacks from Gaza.

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