IDF strikes kill three Hamas commanders


TEL AVIV (JTA) — Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip killed three senior Hamas commanders.

Among those killed in the Thursday morning strikes were Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Abu Shamala, the coordinators of the 2006 kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was released more than five years later in exchange for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. The third slain commander was Mohammed Barhoum, according to Israeli reports.

It remains unclear whether the chief of Hamas’ armed wing, Muhammad Deif, was killed in an airstrike Tuesday.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas resumed Tuesday after Hamas rocket fire broke a 24-hour cease-fire.

Also Thursday morning, Hamas bombs wounded two Israelis. According to the Israeli military, Gaza terrorist groups have fired 200 rockets at Israel since the cease-fire ended.

Palestinian reports, citing Gaza officials, said Israeli airstrikes killed 22 Palestinians on Thursday. More than 2,000 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed since fighting broke out last month.

Israel’s Cabinet approved the call-up of 10,000 more reservists as fighting continued in the afternoon.

The United Nations Security Council called for an end to the fighting. In a unanimous statement, the Security Council “offered full support to the Egyptian initiative and called upon the parties to resume negotiations to urgently reach a sustainable and lasting cease-fire.”

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