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Israel: Seven Palestinians Killed, Including Hamas Military Commander, in Israeli Raid in Gaza

Senior Israeli Officer Also Killed During Special Forces Raid in Gaza

Monday 12 November 2018, by siawi3

Source: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israeli-aircraft-strikes-in-southern-gaza-reports-say-1.6639589?utm_campaign=newsletter-breaking-news&utm_medium=email&utm_source=smartfocus&utm_content=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.haaretz.com%2Fisrael-news%2Fisraeli-aircraft-strikes-in-southern-gaza-reports-say-1.6639589

Seven Palestinians Killed, Including Hamas Military Commander, in Israeli Raid in Gaza

Heavy exchange of fire began after IDF forces reportedly began operating inside Gaza ■ Wave of rocket alarm sirens sound in border communities, Iron Dome intercepts three projectiles ■ IDF states no soldiers abducted during incident

by Amos Harel, Jack Khoury, Yaniv Kubovich, Almog Ben Zikri and Noa Landau

Nov 12, 2018 6:09 AM

Photo: Israeli military strikes in Gaza, October 2018. IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/Reuters

Gaza incident was a botched Israeli military op, but not an assassination attempt
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Images of Qatari cash flowing into Gaza may embarrass Netanyahu - but alternative is war

At least seven Palestinians were said killed in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday after heavy fire was exchanged along the Israel-Gaza border, according to Palestinian sources, including a commander in Hamas’ military wing. Hamas claimed that four of the casualties were part of its organization.

The Israeli military later confirmed that one IDF officer was killed and another was moderately wounded during an operation.

The Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson’s Unit said the shooting occurred “during security activity by the IDF in the Gaza area.” The Palestinians also reported massive Israeli airstrikes in the area that began at the same time as the shooting.

Seventeen projectiles have been fired at Israel from Gaza since the escalation broke out, according to the IDF, with the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepting three of the projectiles.
A video from the airstrike in Gaza, November 11, 2018.

The incident occurred at the height of efforts to achieve a long-term cease-fire in Gaza and is liable to make these efforts much harder.

The shooting began at about 9:30 P.M. Palestinian sources in Gaza said an IDF force was operating inside the Gaza Strip, east of Khan Yunis. Palestinian officials said the group of Hamas men were fired at from a passing car.

Photo: IDF soldiers in Eshkol regional council, November 11, 2018Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Palestinian sources told Haaretz that one of the casualties is Nour Baraka, a deputy commander of an elite unit of Iz al-Din al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas.

According to a statement from Hamas’ military wing, Israeli forces entered Gaza in a civilian vehicle three kilometers east of Khan Yunis. The exchange of fire began after Israeli soldiers kiled Barake.

Gazan officials identified the other casualties as 21-year-old Omar Jani Abu Hatar, Mohammad Majed Al-Qara, Ala Adin Koidar, Mustafa Hassan Abu Odeh, Mahmoud Atallah Masabach and Ala Fasifis.

After rumors began flying in through Israel, the unit took the unusual step of issuing another statement saying that “No member of our forces was abducted during the security incident” and that “additional details will follow.” Security forces in Gaza announced a state of high alert, and the Islamic Jihad declared their forces’ readiness.

Photo: An Israeli military strike in Gaza in October, 2018. AHMED ZAKOT/Reuters

Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum condemned the “cowardly Israeli aggresion” in his statement on the incident, adding that the Palestinian resistance is ready to carry out its duty and make the enemy pay a high price.

Residents of Israeli communities near Gaza said the scope of these airstrikes was exceptional and “sounded almost like a war.” The Homefront Command announced that schools would be closed on Monday. Residents of Gaza border communities received directions to remain near shelter.

“There were explosions and now it’s a little quieter,” said Roni Keisan, a resident of Kerem Shalom, a kibbutz near the Gaza border. “We can see a massive tank operations in the area. We set up the bomb shelter and are ready for a long sleepless night inside. In the meantime, the only information we’ve received is to stay within reach of sheltered areas.”

The secretary of Kibbutz Be’eri, Hagi Yaniv, told Haaretz that residents had seen “planes and helicopters circling above the kibbutz” and had heard “explosions both near and far.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is visiting in Paris, cut his trip short and is flying back to Israel overnight after receiving live updates and holding consultations on the topic. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman is holding consultations at the military headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu said at a briefing for reporters that he would rather explore the possibility of a long-term cease-fire with Hamas than go to war. He defended the decision to let suitcases stuffed with $15 million in cash from Qatar enter Gaza last week.

“We want to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” he said. “At the moment, what’s undermining stability is internal volatility within Gaza, which it may be in our power to prevent.”

Prior to the incident, Israeli officials had sounded relatively optimistic about the chances of achieving a long-term cease-fire. But the heavy exchanges of fire and the casualties suffered by Hamas are liable to complicate the situation, thereby forcing Egyptian intelligence officials to step up their pressure on both sides in order to restore quiet.

The commander of the Gaza Division, Brig. Gen. Eliezer Toledano, met earlier on Sunday with representatives of Israeli communities near Gaza to discuss an incident on Friday in which a Palestinian penetrated Netiv Ha’asara, a moshav just north of Gaza, and torched a greenhouse. Toledano said the incident disturbed him greatly and the IDF would investigate how it happened.

Qatar reportedly finished paying the July salaries of Hamas officials on Saturday. Thousands of officials who have not received their salaries claim that they are part of Hamas’ military wing. According to the deal, Qatari money will be transferred to civilian officials only.

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Source: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israeli-aircraft-strikes-in-southern-gaza-reports-say-1.6639589?utm_campaign=newsletter-breaking-news&utm_medium=email&utm_source=smartfocus&utm_content=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.haaretz.com%2Fisrael-news%2Fisraeli-aircraft-strikes-in-southern-gaza-reports-say-1.6639589

Five Hamas Militants, Including Military Wing Commander, Said Killed in Israeli Raid in Southern Gaza

Elite Israeli force entered city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza to kill senior Hamas commander, reports say ■ Sirens sound in Israeli border communities ■ Israelis living nearby requested to remain in safe areas

by Jack Khoury, Almog Ben Zikri, Yaniv Kubovich and Noa Landau

Nov 11, 2018 9:47 PM

Israeli military strikes in Gaza, October 2018. IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA /Reuters

Netanyahu: No diplomatic solution for Gaza, just like with ISIS

Israeli forces killed a commander in Hamas’ military wing in the southern Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials in the Strip said Sunday. Five people were killed, according to the Gaza Health ministry, and seven wounded.

The Israeli army confirmed a fire exchange took place, with local reports in Gaza saying that Israeli planes fired at the open area near the place of the incident.

The Hamas-run Interior Ministry in Gaza said in an official statement that members of the group were killed and wounded in the incident, which took place east of Khan Younes. Security forces in Gaza announced a state of high alert.

The Red Crescent emergency responders reported four to five people were killed in Khan Younes.
A video from the airstrike in Gaza, November 11, 2018.

Sirens sounded in Israeli communities near the Gaza border.

Palestinian sources told Haaretz that one of the casualties is Nur Barake, a deputy commander of an elite unit of Iz al-Din al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas. Barake and an additional commander were said to be killed in Khan Younes.

Palestinian officials said the group of Hamas men were fired at from a passing car.

According to reports from Gaza, an elite Israeli force entered the city of Khan Younes and killed the. The reports said that the force was then exposed. The two sides then began exchanging fire, and Israeli aircraft accompanied the ground forces.

Residents of nearby Israeli towns were asked to remain in safe areas.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is visiting in Paris, is receiving live updates and holding consultations on the topic. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman is holding consultations at the military headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu said earlier on Sunday that there is “No political solution exists for Gaza, just as there isn’t one with ISIS" and that he is doing everything he can to avoid “unnecessary war.” Netanyahu is attending the Paris Peace Forum, hosted by French President Emmmanuel Macron.

Qatar reportedly finished paying the July salaries of Hamas officials on Saturday. Thousands of officials who have not received their salaries claim that they are part of Hamas’ military wing. According to the deal, Qatari money will be transferred to civilian officials only.

Reuters contributed to this report
[Jack Khoury]

Jack Khoury
Haaretz Correspondent

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Also see: Senior Israeli Officer Killed During Special Forces Raid in Gaza
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