The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Israel Security Agency (ISA) said on Wednesday that they had assassinated several top military commanders of the Palestinian group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
“Today … the IDF and the ISA conducted a complicated and first of its kind operation during which they simultaneously liquidated high-ranking Hamas commanders in Gaza and Khan Yunis,” a statement read.
Separately, a car carrying a squad of Hamas fighters from the Shujaiyya battalion was hit by an airstrike, the military said.
The news was welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“I congratulate the ISA, the Air Force, Southern Command and the IDF for the operation that targeted senior Hamas commanders. Whoever attacks us – will pay a severe price,” Netanyahu said, as quoted by his office on Twitter.
Israel and Hamas have exchanged hundreds of rocket strikes since cross-border violence erupted on Monday night. It was sparked by days of clashes in East Jerusalem and an Israeli court’s decision to side with Jewish settlers requesting the eviction of several Palestinian families from their homes in the disputed city.