Israeli strikes in Gaza kill senior resistance commanders, 12 others

Israel carried out a series of airstrikes in populated areas of the Gaza Strip early Tuesday, killing at least 12 civilians and three senior commanders of the Islamic Jihad movement, Palestinian health officials said.
Two of the commanders’ wives, several of their children and other bystanders were among the dead.
The airstrikes hit the top floor of an apartment building, a house in Gaza City and a third house in the southern town of Rafah. The Palestinian Health Ministry said 20 people were wounded, and that some were in serious or critical condition.
Another Israeli strike killed two more Palestinians. The Gaza Health Ministry said two men were killed by an air strike on a vehicle in Khan Yunis.
At midday, tens of thousands of people took part in two funerals, with at least 10 bodies being mourned in one funeral in Gaza City. Mourners carried the bodies, which lay on stretchers, on their shoulders to ambulances. Children’s coffins were carried next to those of their parents.
Such targeted killings are rare, and in the past, Palestinian groups have retaliated with heavy barrages of rocket fire.
In anticipation of renewed rocket fire, the Israeli military advised residents of communities within 25 miles (40 kilometers) of Gaza to stay close to designated bomb shelters.
The Israeli airstrikes drew condemnation from Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, Jordan and the Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Syria.
Tor Wennesland, the U.N. envoy to the Mideast, said he was “deeply alarmed” and condemned the civilian deaths, calling on all sides “to exercise maximum restraint.”
Dawood Shahab, an Islamic Jihad official, said that there would be a “unified Palestinian response” to the strikes at a time and place of its choosing.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh warned that Israel will “pay the price” for the killings. “Assassinating the leaders with a treacherous operation will not bring security to the occupier, but rather more resistance”.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry also strongly condemned Israel’s attacks. Spokesman Nasser Kanaani said silence and inaction of international organizations and Western countries towards Israel’s “inhumane acts”, which have been intensified against the Palestinian people in recent months, have emboldened the Tel Aviv regime to continue its crimes.He called for immediate, effective, deterrent and coordinated action by Muslim countries to stop the “killing and crime machine” of the regime.


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