A commander from the Hamas’ military group was killed by Israeli forces along the southern Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials reported Sunday.
At least six Palestinians were killed and seven wounded during air strikes and a gunfire exchanged between the Israeli Defense Forces and militia from the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam group on Sunday night in Khan Yunis.
Palestinian media sources report that the violent exchange was triggered after Israeli forces fired at Hamas soldiers from a passing vehicle during what IDF referred to as an “operational activity.”
Retaliation from the opposition group was returned with a 20-missile-airstrike causing the death of Hamas top wing commanders Sheikh Nur Barakeh and Muhammad al-Qara.
On Twitter, Israeli-American journalist, Mairav Zonszein reported, “Unconfirmed reports that a special Israeli force tried to kidnap a Hamas military commander in Gaza but was ambushed, which is when Israel Air Force started strike - Palestinians reporting that commander has been killed.”
Zonszein also reports that communities in the Gaza border have announced school closures for Monday due additional airstrikes which are likely to follow this week.
In a statement, the Palestinian Red Crescent wrote, “We have five martyrs and a number of wounded people due to an ongoing Israeli bombardment of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.”
Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum criticized the IDF for its “cowardly” operation and praised the “Palestinian resistance” for its “heroic” alert response to confrontation by the “Zionist enemy.”