Alwaght- Israeli regime's forces infiltrated late on Sunday the Gaza Strip and assassinated a top Hamas commander, while subsequent Israeli airstrikes killed six others, including another commander with the Palestinian resistance movement.
Tel Aviv confirmed that one Israeli officer was killed and another was injured during the clandestine raid in the besieged Strip.
On Sunday, Hamas said in a statement that the forces had made their way into the coastal sliver using a civilian vehicle.
The Israeli occupants assassinated Nour Baraka, a senior commander with Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, in a drive-by shooting near the city of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, it added.
Ghazi Hamad, senior Hamas official, told Al Jazeera "After, the car which carried this special unit or some collaborators, they tried to escape … but they were followed by Hamas and the al-Qassam Brigades and after that Israel tried to cover this car through striking here in Gaza".
The group defined the exact place where the targeted killing took place as “the area of the Shahid Ismail Abu Shanab mosque, three kilometers (1.8 miles) east of Khan Yunis".
Witnesses said during the chase Israeli aircraft fired more than 40 missiles in the area where the incident took place.
This is not the first time Hamas officials come under Israeli attack. The regime has assassinated many figures with the Palestinian group.
Last March, Tel Aviv assassinated Mazen Fuqaha, one of the group’s senior figures, in Gaza City, the Gaza Strip. The victim was shot with four bullets to his head.
In 2010, Israel had itself been embroiled in an international scandal when its operatives used false European and Australian passports to assassinate senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in the United Arab Emirates.
The killing and the circumstances surrounding it also raised suspicions of complicity by Emirati intelligence and other services in the assassination.
Netanyahu cuts Paris trip short
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, cut short an underway trip to Paris, where he was attending World War I commemorations, flying back to occupied territories to address the situation.
He had claimed at a press conference in the French capital earlier in the day that the situation in the enclave had “no diplomatic solution".
Tel Aviv blockaded the already-impoverished sliver of land more than a decade ago after Hamas decisively won the Palestinian parliamentary elections. The embargo has rendered living conditions for Gaza’s two-million-strong population insufferable. The United Nations has warned that the overall pressure could render Gaza uninhabitable by 2020.
The regime regularly conducts air raids targeting Gaza, and has launched three large-scale wars against the territory, killing thousandsduring each.
Netanyahu, however, said, “I am doing everything I can to avoid an unnecessary war.”