Israel kill Hamas commander in airstrike and 'prepares Gaza ground invasion'

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    Tony Koretz

    Israel kill Hamas commander in airstrike and ‘prepares Gaza ground invasion’ as it hits back after 600 militant rockets kill four and injure 66

    Israel has reportedly killed a Hamas commander in a series of airstrikes amid reports it is planning to invade Gaza following a series of skirmishes with Palestinians.

    A military statement said that commander Hamed Ahmed Abed Khudri had been killed in a targeted air strike on his car on Sunday.

    Khudri was reportedly responsible for transferring funds from Iran to armed factions in Gaza. Palestinian witnesses said he was killed in an air strike on his car.

    Four Israelis and 22 Palestinians, including two pregnant woman and an infant, have died so far in air strikes which began as Palestinians fired 600 rockets across the border on Friday.

    It comes as Israel’s ground troops are reportedly preparing to siege the Gaza perimeter.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Hamas, the dissident group which rules Gaza, is paying a ‘heavy price’ for its attacks on his country.

    And he has ordered a large military corps up to the besieged enclave as the month-long ceasefire is left in tatters.

    In a statement to his cabinet this morning, Mr Netanyahu said: ‘I instructed the military this morning to continue its massive strikes on terror elements in the Gaza Strip and ordered it to reinforce the troops around the Gaza Strip with tanks, artillery and infantry force.’

    Moshe Agadi, a 58-year-old father of four, was struck in the chest by shrapnel during a missile strike on the city of Ashkelon near the border and marked the fighting’s first Israeli fatality in five years.

    Eight Palestinian militants have also died in airstrikes which formed part of Israel’s retaliation that Mr Netanyahu has vowed to continue.

    A pregnant woman and a one-year-old baby were also killed, but Israel is claiming that their deaths were caused by a misfired Palestinian rocket.

    And Israeli Defence Forces are standing by to invade the blockaded Gaza strip, according to the Independent.

    The fighting came as leaders from Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, and the smaller armed faction Islamic Jihad, were in Cairo for talks with Egyptian mediators aimed at preventing a fraying ceasefire from collapsing altogether.


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