News / Middle East

    Israeli Airstrikes Kill Wife, Child of Hamas Military Leader

    People gather as a Palestinian man reacts next to the rubble of his house, which witnesses said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Aug. 20, 2014.
    People gather as a Palestinian man reacts next to the rubble of his house, which witnesses said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Aug. 20, 2014.
    Scott Bobb

    Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip carried out dozens of attacks on one another Wednesday, with one Israeli airstrike killing the wife and infant son of the Hamas military leader in Gaza.

    Israel said it hit more than 90 targets in the Palestinian enclave along the Mediterranean, one of which struck the house of Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif. Hamas said he is still alive, but the raid killed his 27-year-old wife and seven-month-old son.

    Several thousand mourners joined a funeral procession for them and shouted demands for revenge. Their bodies, wrapped in green Hamas flags, were carried from a mosque to a cemetery in a refugee camp in Jabaliya.

    Palestinian medical authorities reported that at least 20 people in Gaza had been killed by the new Israeli airstrikes, bringing the death toll to nearly 2,050 since the conflict started July 8.  Israel says 64 of its soldiers have been killed and three civilians.

    In New York, the U.N. Security Council expressed "grave concern" at the resumption of violence in Gaza. All 15 members urged both sides to call an immediate humanitarian cease-fire and return to talks on a long-term truce.

    Hamas said that Israel had opened a "gateway to hell," and warned of further Hamas rocket attacks on Israel's strategic interests, including Ben Gurion airport east of Tel Aviv.

    Hamas warned international airlines against flying into Tel Aviv starting Thursday. Earlier in the conflict, some airlines canceled flights there after a rocket landed nearby.

    Targeting Hamas leader

    One Israeli Cabinet member, Interior Minister Gideon Saar, called the elusive Deif "an arch murderer" and said that Israel would target him as long as it has a chance to kill him.

    Deif, the shadowy leader of Hamas's armed wing in Gaza, appears to have narrowly survived a fifth attempt to assassinate him, allowing the mastermind of the six-week war on Israel to pursue the conflict from his network of tunnels, Reuters reported.

    Israel said Hamas has fired more than 130 rockets across the border since Tuesday's cease-fire collapsed and fighting resumed.

    It said 94 missiles had hit southern and central Israel and that its Iron Dome missile-defense system had shot down another 24. None of the rocket attacks caused any injuries.

    Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Israeli military would conduct an extensive campaign in Gaza until "calm and safety" is restored for the country's citizens.

    Israel's military reported rockets landed near the southern cities of Beersheba and Ashkelon and the central city, Jerusalem.

    Who broke truce?

    Government spokesman Mark Regev accused the Hamas group that controls Gaza of breaking the truce.

    "Today's rocket attack on our city of Beer Sheba is a direct and grave violation of the cease-fire that Hamas, itself, committed to. This is the 11th cease-fire that Hamas has either rejected or violated," Regev said.

    Hamas officials denied their group had launched any attacks against Israel. Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accused Israel of violating the truce.

    He said the Israeli air raids aim to abort the negotiations in Cairo, and added that the Israeli occupation bears responsibility for the escalation and the consequences that may result.

    Civilians who had fled their homes in Gaza and southern Israel had begun to return during the weeklong truce that followed five weeks of hostilities.

    Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
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    Before the attacks, cease-fire talks brokered by Egypt appeared to have made some progress with agreement reported on easing some restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and from the Gaza enclave.

    Hamas demanded an end to the eight-year-old Israeli blockade of Gaza, while Israel demanded a demilitarization of Gaza.

    Neither side appeared ready to accept the other's conditions for a permanent cease-fire.

    Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

    • Rockets launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel  (at right) as a rocket by the Iron Dome anti-missile system (at left) is fired to intercept them, before a five-day ceasefire was due to expire, Aug. 19, 2014.
    • A relative of the wife of Hamas's military leader, Mohammed Deif, and his infant son Ali, whom medics said were killed in Israeli air strikes, carries Ali's body during the funeral, in the northern Gaza Strip, Aug. 20, 2014.
    • An Israeli soldier sits atop an armored personnel carrier near the border with Gaza Strip, Aug. 20, 2014.
    • A Palestinian woman inspects her house that witnesses say was damaged during an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, Aug. 20, 2014.
    • A crowd of Palestinians march during the funeral of the wife of Hamas's military leader, Mohammed Deif, his infant son Ali and other Palestinians whom medics said were killed in Israeli air strikes, in the northern Gaza Strip, Aug. 20, 2014.
    • Israeli soldiers unload their weapons near the border with the Gaza Strip, Aug. 20, 2014.
    • A Palestinian boy stands next to the bodies of the wife of Hamas's military leader, Mohammed Deif, and his infant son Ali, whom medics said were killed in Israeli air strikes, during their funeral, in the northern Gaza Strip, Aug. 20, 2014.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Chuck Rogers from: USA
    August 20, 2014 6:32 PM
    Gaza is under attack again for the "high crime " of not being Jewish in a wannabe "Jewish state"

    by: Adam from: CA
    August 20, 2014 4:40 PM
    Shame on Israel. Even the Mafia would leave the wives and chasten alone. If you can't hit Hamas soldier directly , you can't go after their family members. Israel is supposed to be a civilized nation not a gang of thugs.
    In Response

    by: Scott D. Mendelson
    August 20, 2014 6:59 PM
    If Mohammed Deif learned that Hamas rockets killed an Israeli wife and child, he would laugh, shout with joy, and sing the praises of Allah.
    In Response

    by: John Cooper
    August 20, 2014 6:14 PM
    If someone had tried repeatedly to kill you and your family and you find out that they are at a certain location with their family but will slip away soon in order to come after you again; what do you do?
    In Response

    by: Isaac from: NJ
    August 20, 2014 5:34 PM
    I doubt Israel deliberately attacked the family. It is far more likely that it was a failed hit on the leader himself.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 20, 2014 2:45 PM
    Now we all can agree that there is no solution to the trouble between Israel and Hamas. I do not even see the basis for the truce in the first place, hence Hamas has vowed Israel must be destroyed. What is the need for a truce if Hamas must not see Israel exist? Why ask for truce today only for them to return to the warfronts again in no time? Is it so that Hamas learns to love Israel anytime before eternity – which will never happen - or so that someone be seen as being civilized and so refuse to destroy the enemy that wants him destroyed?

    Hamas position is enough warning signal to the UN, EU, NATO and USA to work toward total separation – at least let the Palestinians live in their own country away from Israel, not the place it is perched on Israel right now. Hamas is an extension of the Muslim Brotherhood, now ISIS, fighting to implement a harsh sharia regime in all of Islamic countries and from there spread all over, everywhere. That should not be allowed. I know Israel is presently delayed by unnecessary world outcry, but I think it will even get worse the more the move to truly remove Hamas from Gaza is delayed.

    Nobody is going to do it for Israel, despite seeming goodwill to bring the warring parties to negotiation table in disguise for searching for peace. Here I can say that Israeli leaders have been naïve not to understand when to move, when to stop, when to take a cue, and when to take an advantage – when both cue and advantage have been beckoning. Israel must put its acts together and take the bull by the horn to clear Gaza out once and for all, or have this kind of trouble calling every time until Hamas becomes too big for it.

    It’s a nuclear age, and its brother-at-terror – ISIS – has been combing Iraq for Sadam Hussein’s chemical weapons that disappeared during operation desert storm. Iran is development nuclear capability, even though it seems at loggerheads with ISIS presently, it is common knowledge that the unity of the islamist world in their agreement to destroy Israel. Will Israel wait for this to happen, or will it save itself and destroy the enemy before the enemy lays hand on the weapon of mass destruction to attack it?

    Some UN agency personnel were earlier reported to have heard sound of missile firing from Gaza, did they hear Israeli strike before that or was it Hamas firing they heard first? I think that should tell anyone that cares where the truce-breaking has been coming from, who truly is working for peace and who is the aggressor. It should also determine what position the blames should take, as against now when even the UN thinks it's Israel's fault to exist.

    by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, USA
    August 20, 2014 12:16 PM
    While two sides do sit for constructive dialouge process for resolving a grave problem......even, two warring sides like the Hamas and Israel, the engaging sides do necessiate patience, receiprocal trust and accepting the conditionalities that're to be on the table. But neither Hamas nor Israel does have that. The plus points for Israel are - it's a sovereign state having its own government and all the state aparatus that a complete state does need; contrario, the Hamas - albeit does enjoy the supports of the people of the Palestine side; so, over the Gaza, Abu Mazen is the functional, official head of the state, not the Hamas wing. The demand in Egypt on behalf of Israel had been to demilitarize the Gaza entirely. But the very recalcitrancy of the Hamas side has created, resustained the problem for a durable cease-fire. So, it's the reinitiation of the commotions between Israel and the Hamas militia. One ligitimate question does arise here - while our friendly state Israeli embargo remains over the Gaza strip, the possession of the stupendous number of rockets and other fire-arms are possible for the Hamas side, it would've been imbecility for Israel to lift the embargo over the Gaza strip; thereby, facilitating the bandit Hamas wing to import all that out of their supportng states in the Middle East. Other onerous responsibility for Israel now is how to fully disarm the Hamas militia? That depends upon how the Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu and his defense and intelligence top brass do go for the necessarius strategies to liquidating the Hamas militia completely? It's a challenge that the Israeli govt. does face now...........Many of our friendly Islamic states over the Middle East do advocate Israel should maintain peace with its neighbors; alright, but the very illegitimate ebriations of the Hamas and the Hizbollah like militant organizations to sustain their struggle against Israel is in well contrareity with the international, the UN norms to provoke a state to act militarily instead of the constructive dialouge process instead. That illegal ebriations are well funded financially as well as in terms of clandestine supplies for these militia groups by some states in the Middle East.
    In Response

    by: digger's cousin silas from: nw of center
    August 20, 2014 4:04 PM
    After reading what appeared to be an intelligent set of comments I stopped at the part describing Israel as a sovereign nation to do a reality check. Zionisim is probably a crime when applied as a weapon and as a racial tool of discrimination. While I appreciate NLp style communications and have a deep respect for the American war college, i respectfully disagree with this particular piece.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 20, 2014 10:06 AM
    Now we all can agree that there is no solution to the trouble between Israel and Hamas. I do not even see the basis for the truce in the first place, hence Hamas has vowed Israel must be destroyed. What is the need for a truce if Hamas must not see Israel exist? Why ask for truce today only for them to return to the warfronts again in no time? Is it so that Hamas learns to love Israel anytime before eternity – which will never happen - or so that someone be seen as being civilized and so refuse to destroy the enemy that wants him destroyed?

    Hamas position is enough warning signal to the UN, EU, NATO and USA to work toward total separation – at least let the Palestinians live in their own country away from Israel, not the place it is perched on Israel right now. Hamas is an extension of the Muslim Brotherhood, now ISIS, fighting to implement a harsh sharia regime in all of Islamic countries and from there spread all over, everywhere. That should not be allowed. I know Israel is presently delayed by unnecessary world outcry, but I think it will even get worse the more the move to truly remove Hamas from Gaza is delayed.

    Nobody is going to do it for Israel, despite seeming goodwill to bring the warring parties to negotiation table in disguise for searching for peace. Here I can say that Israeli leaders have been naïve not to understand when to move, when to stop, when to take a cue, and when to take an advantage – when both cue and advantage have been beckoning. Israel must put its acts together and take the bull by the horn to clear Gaza out once and for all, or have this kind of trouble calling every time until Hamas becomes too big for it.

    It’s a nuclear age, and its brother-at-terror – ISIS – has been combing Iraq for Sadam Hussein’s chemical weapons that disappeared during operation desert storm. Iran is development nuclear capability, even though it seems at loggerheads with ISIS presently, it is common knowledge that the unity of the islamist world in their agreement to destroy Israel. Will Israel wait for this to happen, or will it save itself and destroy the enemy before the enemy lays hand on the weapon of mass destruction to attack it?

    Some UN agency personnel were earlier reported to have heard sound of missile firing from Gaza, did they hear Israeli strike before that or was it Hamas firing they heard first? I think that should tell anyone that cares where the truce-breaking has been coming from, who truly is working for peace and who is the aggressor. It should also determine what position the blames should take, as against now when even the UN thinks it's Israel's fault to exist.

    by: mxxr
    August 20, 2014 5:46 AM
    what did Gaza expect after more rockets were fired at Israel? a peaceful celebration? pity the civilians. must suffer because of mad Hamas people. instead of building a peaceful prosperous society. jobs with Hamas. another generation down the toilet.
    In Response

    by: Anon from: Dallas, TX
    August 20, 2014 6:48 PM
    So Anthony from New York, you say because Hamas is too incompetent to be accurate with their attacks that Israel is the bad guy? Just because Israel has a disciplined military capable of actually hitting their target instead of just firing blindly like idiots doesn't mean Israel should be condemned. The fact that Hamas fires blindly should terrify you. It is incredibly unfortunate that a child and a mother were killed instead of the military leader. But by attempting to eliminate that military leader they potentially could mitigate the effectiveness of the Hamas rocket attacks further. They failed to do so and they should feel terrible for that failure. But they should NOT stop trying, just try to be better at hitting the target. But, what we know about Hamas firing blindly is that they absolutely DO NOT care if their rockets strike a school filled with children. They wouldn't care if they killed an infant and its mother. THAT is the difference between these two people. One tries to hit military targets and do their best to mitigate innocent casualties, the other blindly attacks and cares nothing for the innocent.
    In Response

    by: asdkh from: asdfasn asdjk
    August 20, 2014 5:09 PM
    How can israel kill infants and women. God will punish israelis and Jews..
    In Response

    by: Anon from: Dallas, TX
    August 20, 2014 4:41 PM
    That is just stupidity to think the Palestinians "MUST fight and die for their freedom". That isn't what this is about... Palestinians plain and simple want to eradicate Jews from the face of the earth. Even if they had all of Israel and turned it in to one Palestinian nation it wouldn't be good enough until all the Jews they could get their hands on were dead. I don't even understand why the world permits such a hostile and evil natured people to exist. Why does the world stop Israel from just wiping Palestine out? Sure we are good natured and want to see that a minority people have an opportunity to prosper in this world with us. And that is a great ideology! But in this particular case we're dealing with a group of people that want peace through genocide of another group of people. Don't forget, they want land AND they want all Jews dead. If this was just about land then the lifting of the West Bank occupation would have been sufficient to calm the Palestinians. Recognizing Palestine as a state with a government system should have been sufficient as well. But it wasn't, because that isn't their objective. They just want to kill their hated enemy regardless of the cost. Land has very little to do with any of this. Its a race war for the Palestinians, and for the Jews its simply an issue of having the right to exist and live. Imagine if Mexico told the US we don't have a right to exist so they will start bombarding us every chance they get... Thats just stupid! So we eliminate our enemy thoroughly and cripple them to the point that they were no longer a threat. Release the bindings on Israel and allow them to secure a safe and prosperous future. The same future we would want for ourselves. One that does not include rockets flying in to their cities by people who want to kill them just for what they were born to be.

    Exterminate the threat with great prejudice. I would never condone acting against another nation that took aggressive action to protect itself and its people. COMMON SENSE.

    War should not be to harm others, it should be a last resort to stop others from hurting you and your home. Those that use war to lash out at other people are evil and should not be afforded rights or compassion because of their ideology of harming others for their own gain or beliefs. It is only acceptable, though incredibly unfortunate, to harm others to protect yourself and secure a safe place to raise your family.
    In Response

    by: anthony from: ny
    August 20, 2014 4:28 PM
    Hamas shoots rockets into Israeli fields (FACT), Israel destroys Palestinian homes, and kills the family of one of its leaders...What if Hamas killed the family of Israel's top general? They'd nuke the strip, that's what they'd do.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    August 20, 2014 8:36 AM
    Hey mxxr... Hamas is one of the military wings of the Palestinian people, and Hamas and the Palestinians must fight and die now, to get the Gaza border blockade and the horrific Israeli apartheid occupation lifted, and the hundreds of imprisoned Palestinians held without charges and trials released, and FREEDOM.....

    Hamas and the Palestinian people must fight and die now to achieve their FREEDOM, or they'll leave their children and grandchildren suffering in the horrific Israeli apartheid occupation that they now endure?..... The Palestinian people must win their FREEDOM now, (or the inheritance they leave their children and grandchildren), is the brutal enslavement imposed on them now, by the US supported apartheid occupation by Israel on them..... (A famous American said it;.. "Give me liberty. or give me death".... the world stood up for the blacks in South Africa, and why won't they stand up for the Palestinians?..... (because of America's support for the Israeli illegal occupation, isn't it?)

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