Published: Mon, November 12, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Israel kills Hamas commander as seven die in deadly Gaza raid

Israel kills Hamas commander as seven die in deadly Gaza raid

Hamas's armed wing alleged in a statement that an Israeli special forces team infiltrated near Khan Yunis in a civilian vehicle.

Medics and Hamas officials said at least seven people were killed, four of them militants, including Hamas commander Mr Baraka.

Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza identified the casualties in the exchange of fire that followed Baraka's assassination as: Nouriddin Salama, 37, Mohammad al-Qarra, 23, Alaa Qweeder, 22, Mustafa abu-Odeh, 21, and Mahmoud Musabbeh, 25.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman was huddled with senior military officials at defense headquarters in Tel Aviv, meeting with the IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman and others, his office said, with the meeting lasting around an hour.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced overnight Sunday that an Israeli soldier had been killed and another moderately injured in a Gaza ground operation earlier Sunday evening.

Shortly after the violence erupted, sirens warning of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip sounded in southern Israel, though there were no immediate reports of any damage or injuries.

Hamas militants then pursued the auto as it raced back to Israel, prompting Israeli air strikes that killed "a number of people".

Naftali Bennett, Netanyahu's education minister and right-wing rival, compared the cash flow to "protection money" paid to criminals.

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Netanyahu's remarks late Saturday were his first on the issue since Israel allowed the money transfer to the enclave controlled by Hamas, which Israel, the United States and European Union consider a terrorist movement.

"I'm doing what I can, in coordination with the security elements, to return quiet to the southern communities, but also to prevent a humanitarian crisis", Netanyahu said, mentioning the further deteriorating conditions in the war-torn Gaza Strip. He said the step was coordinated with security officials to restore quiet for Israeli citizens living near the Gaza border and to avert a humanitarian crisis.

The violence prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cut short a visit to Paris, where he had been gathering with world leaders for a World War One commemoration.

The incident shattered what appeared to be a turning point after months of bloodshed along the Israel-Gaza border.

Hamas gunmen gave chase as the auto sped back towards the border with Israel, Hamas said in a statement.

On Friday, Palestinian civil servants began receiving payments after months of sporadic salary disbursements in cash-strapped Gaza, with $15 million delivered into the enclave through Israel in suitcases.

Palestinian security sources said the clash included Israeli air strikes. It is the first installment of $90 million that Qatar has pledged to cover the salaries of thousands of unpaid Hamas employees for six months.

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