IDF strikes kill three Hamas commanders; Israeli wounded by Hamas mortar

Ben Sales

(JTA) — Israel Defense Forces strikes have killed three senior Hamas commanders.

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza Thursday morning killed Raed al-Attar, Mohammed Abu Shamala and Mohammed Barhoum, according to Israeli reports. Al-Attar and Abu Shamala were two of Hamas’ senior commanders in southern Gaza, and were coordinators of the 2006 kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was released in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in 2011.

It is still unclear whether the chief of Hamas’ armed wing, Muhammad Deif, was killed in an airstrike Tuesday.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas resumed Tuesday after Hamas rocket fire broke a 24-hour cease-fire. A Hamas mortar seriously wounded an Israeli Thursday morning.

The United Nations Security Council called for an end to the fighting and “offered full support to the Egyptian initiative and called upon the parties to resume negotiations to urgently reach a sustainable and lasting ceasefire” in a unanimous statement.

According to Agence Grance-Presse, Gaza officials say Israeli airstrikes killed 15 people Thursday morning. More than 2,000 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed since fighting broke out last month.

Ben Sales is JTA’s Israel correspondent.