Wife and Child of Hamas Military Leader 'Killed' in New Gaza Air Strikes

The Evening Standard (London, England), August 20, 2014 | Go to article overview

Wife and Child of Hamas Military Leader 'Killed' in New Gaza Air Strikes


Byline: Kiran Randhawa

THE wife and infant daughter of Hamas's military commander were today reported to have been killed as fresh violence in Gaza left 11 dead and injured scores more.

It is not known whether Mohammed Deif, head of the military wing of Hamas, survived last night's Israeli air strike.

But the group's exiled deputy leader Mussa Abu Marzuk said two of the victims were Deif's wife and daughter. Deif, accused of ordering suicide bomb attacks in Israel several years ago, has reportedly been left with severe disabilities after surviving several assassination attempts.

Israeli interior minister Gideon Saar told army radio Deif was a "legitimate target" and if an opportunity arose to eliminate him, it should be taken.

The Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said Israel had opened "the gates of hell" and warned it would pay a heavy price.

The fighting resumed when Gaza militants fired rockets at Israeli cities hours before a temporary ceasefire was due to expire, and Israel launched retaliatory air strikes.

The Israeli military said it carried out 30 air attacks on targets in Gaza, and that Palestinians had fired at least 70 rockets at Israel.

Air raid sirens wailed in southern Israeli cities today, warning of incoming rockets.

Israel's civil defence authority ordered the reopening of public bomb shelters within 50 miles of Gaza.

Egyptian security officials said they were still pressing the two sides to agree on a ceasefire.

The resumption of violence marked a bitter end to nearly a week of Egyptian-led diplomacy, which aimed to end the latest period of fighting between Israel and Hamas the heaviest since the Islamist militant group seized control of Gaza in 2007. …

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