Israel kills Hamas commander

Gaza/Jerusalem, May 12

Israel said it killed 16 members of the Hamas armed wing in Gaza in a barrage on Wednesday and Palestinian militants rained rockets into Israel as Washington said it would send an envoy to try to calm their most intense hostilities in years.

At least 56 people have been killed in Gaza since violence escalated on Monday, according to the enclave’s health ministry. Six people have been killed in Israel, medical officials said.

Demonstrators raise slogans during a procession in Gaza on Wednesday. REUTERS

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the brigade commander for Gaza City was among senior members of the Islamist militant group who had been killed. “This is just the beginning.We’ll hit them like they’ve never dreamed possible,” he said.

Hamas confirmed the death of the commander and of “other leaders and holy warriors” in a statement. Its leader Ismail Haniyeh added: “The confrontation with the enemy is open-ended.” Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said Israel would continue with strike. — Reuters

Just the beginning, says Israeli PM

  • Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said, “This is just the beginning. We’ll hit them like they’ve never dreamed possible.”
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says a senior aide would be sent to urge Israelis and Palestinians to seek calm.
  • Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin supports Israel’s move.

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