MOSCOW, August 21 (RIA Novosti) - Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are planning to continue striking Hamas leaders following the killing of three Hamas senior military commanders in an air strike, Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Thursday.
“He who attempts to harm Israeli civilians is taking his life in his hands," Moshe Ya'alon is quoted by The Jerusalem Post as saying.
Ya’alon stressed that the Hamas commanders killed by the IDF overnight "were responsible for severe terror attacks against Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers” and vowed to continue to "pursue and hit Hamas leaders at any time and place.”
Thursday morning Hamas announced that three of its commanders were killed in an Israel Air Force strike: Mohammed Abu Shammala, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhoum. The organization said the commanders were killed in the bombing of a house in the town of Rafah in southern Gaza. The Israeli military and the Israel Security Agency (ISA) confirmed that two of the men, Shammala and Attar, were targeted. Attar is believed to be the most senior of the three.
Ya'alon said that the IDF attack was a great operational and intelligence achievement for the army and the ISA. Shammala and Attar are the most senior Hamas leaders killed by the IDF since Israel launched its offensive in Gaza on July 8.
On Wednesday, an Israeli strike killed the wife and seven-month-old son of Mohammed Deif, the head of Hamas’ military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades. According to Hamas, the strike failed to kill Deif, but there is still no concrete evidence indicating if he is dead or alive.