MIDDLE EAST

Israel claims killing Hamas commander in charge of rocket units

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 November, 2012, 1:40am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 November, 2012, 1:40am
 

The Israeli army said Sunday it has killed a senior Hamas operative in Gaza who was responsible for the movement’s rocket operations.

An army spokesman identified the Palestinian as Yehia Bia, who was killed in one of the northern neighbourhoods of Gaza City that experienced the brunt of Israeli attacks on Sunday.

“We can confirm a direct hit,” the army spokesman said by telephone.

Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon said Bia was “the commander of the (Hamas) rocket units” whom the Israeli forces had “intercepted and killed.”

The Israeli army said that 544 rockets had struck various parts of Israel since hostilities between the two sides intensified Wednesday with the killing of the Hamas movement’s military leader in Gaza.

Officials said an additional 302 rockets had been intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system and that more fell into the Mediterranean Sea as well as on Gaza itself.

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