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Israel Aims Airstrikes At Hamas Targets In Gaza

NPR icon by Mark Memmott

Update at 10:45 a.m. ET: Israeli forces struck hard at targets in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip today, with multiple airstrikes. Among those killed, according to both Hamas and Israeli officials, was the commander of Hamas' military wing.

Al-Jazeera reports that "Palestinian security sources and medics confirmed a total of four air strikes across Gaza during the late afternoon, two in Gaza City, one of which killed Jabari, one in northern Gaza, and a fourth in the southern city of Khan Yunis."

As Sheera Frenkel reports from Tel Aviv for the NPR Newscast: "Earlier this week, Israeli officials announced they could resume their policy of targeted assassinations in response to ongoing rocket fire by militants in Gaza."

Haaretz is live-blogging here. It writes that an Israeli Defense Forces official says the Israeli military is "ready for ground operation in Gaza, should there be need for an incursion."

The IDF is also tweeting. It claims to have " seriously damaged Hamas' long-range missile capabilities (40 km/25 mi range) & underground weapons storage facilities."

Update at 10:20 a.m. ET: Israeli airstrikes continue on targets in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, according to multiple reports. The BBC's Jon Donnison just tweeted, for example, that there's been a "major explosion close to bbc #gaza office."

Watch for more updates.

Our original post — "Military Chief Killed By Israeli Airstrike, Reports Say":

Ahmed Jabari, the commander of Hamas' military wing who has long been on Israel's "most-wanted" list, was killed today by an Israeli airstrike, according to what Hamas and Israeli officials are telling The Associated Press, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post and other news outlets.

As the AP notes, "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."

The BBC says "he is the most senior Hamas official to be killed since an Israeli offensive in Gaza four years ago. Witnesses say Jabari was traveling in his vehicle in Gaza City when his car exploded. There are reports his deputy has also been killed."

Reuters adds that "Israel's Shin Bet domestic intelligence service confirmed it had carried out the attack, saying it had killed Jaabri because of his 'decade-long terrorist activity.' "

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