Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel to call up 10,000 reservists as Hamas vows revenge for the killing of three of its commanders in an airstrike

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu praised the military’s 'precise execution' of the attack

Gaza City

Israel said it would call up 10,000 reservists as Palestinians vowed to avenge Israel’s killing of three Hamas commanders in Gaza this morning.

The pre-dawn strike levelled a four-storey house in a densely populated neighbourhood of the southern town of Rafah, killing six people, including Mohamed Abu Shamaleh, Raed Attar and Mohamed Barhoum. Both Israel and Hamas identified the commanders killed in the 3am air strike.

Meanwhile, a senior Hamas leader said the group had carried out the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank in June, an incident which helped spark the current conflict. Saleh Arouri said Hamas’s military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, carried out what he described as a “heroic operation” to create a new Palestinian uprising.

Israel said the three Hamas commanders had played a key role in expanding Hamas’s military capabilities in recent years, including digging attack tunnels leading to Israel, training fighters and smuggling weapons to Gaza.

Thousands of Palestinians marched through Rafah in a funeral procession firing guns, waving flags of different militant groups and chanting religious slogans. Those killed were carried aloft through the crowd on stretchers, wrapped in green Hamas flags.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, said Israel “will not succeed in breaking the will of our people or weaken the resistance” and “will pay the price”.

 

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the “superior intelligence” of the Shin Bet security service and the military’s “precise execution” of the attack.

An Israeli defence official said that tens of thousands of reserve soldiers would be called up for duty.

In pinpointing the whereabouts of the Hamas commanders, Israel probably relied to some extent on local informers. Israel has maintained a network of informers despite its withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, in some cases using blackmail or the lure of exit permits to win co-operation.

Video: Three Hamas commanders killed

Al-Majd, a website linked to the Hamas security services, said that seven suspected informers were arrested in recent days and that three were killed “after the completion of the revolutionary procedures against them”.

The Rafah attack came a day after an apparent Israeli attempt to kill the top Hamas military leader, Mohammed Deif, in an air strike on a house in Gaza City. Mr Deif’s wife and an infant son were killed in that strike, but the Hamas military wing said Mr Deif was not in the house at the time. The body of his daughter, five-year-old Sara Deif, was recovered from the rubble today.

The targeting of top Hamas military leaders came after indirect Israel-Hamas negotiations in Cairo on a sustainable truce broke down on Tuesday. Gaza militants resumed rocket fire on Israel, even before the formal end of a six-day truce.

Since then, Gaza militants have fired dozens more rockets, and Israeli aircraft have struck dozens of targets in Gaza, dimming prospects for a resumption of the talks.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border