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Israel Stirkes Gaza, Kills Hamas Militant Chief

Israeli soldiers stand guard
David Vaaknin/Getty Images

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) – Palestinian witnesses say Israeli airstrikes have hit a series of targets across Gaza City, shortly after the assassination of the top Hamas commander.

Hamas security officials say two Hamas training facilities were among the targets in the Wednesday afternoon bombings. Plumes of smoke are rising in the air, and people are running in panic through the streets as militants angrily fire their weapons in the air.

Israel says the airstrikes are the beginning of a broader operation, launched in response to days of heavy rocket fire from Gaza.

Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip say an Israeli airstrike has killed the commander of its military wing.

Ahmed Jabari becomes the most senior Hamas official to be killed since an Israeli invasion of Gaza four years ago. Jabari has long topped Israel’s most-wanted list.

Witnesses say Jabari was traveling in his vehicle in Gaza City when his car exploded.

Israeli officials had said in recent days that they were considering assassinating top Hamas officials following a wave of heavy rocket fire from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

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