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Palestinian Israeli conflict

Hamas confirms several top commanders killed by Israeli airstrikes

Published: Updated:

Palestinian militant group Hamas confirmed Wednesday that several of its top commanders were killed in Israeli strikes, including its military chief in Gaza City.

Israeli forces have stated that they killed 16 Hamas figures, including a senior commander and weapons developers, in an air strike on a command post of the Palestinian Islamist faction in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, Israel’s Shin Bet security service said.

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According to the Shin Bet, the dead from the strike include Bassim Issa, veteran Hamas brigade commander for Gaza City, Hamas cyber and missile technology chief Jomaa Tahla and 13 members of the faction’s weapons manufacturing staff.

Bassem Issa is the highest-ranking military figure in Hamas to be killed by Israel since a 2014 war in Gaza.

In a statement, the armed wing of Hamas said Issa was killed “along with a few of his fellow brothers of leaders and holy fighters” during the fighting that has been going on for two days in Gaza.

Weeks of violent clashes in East Jerusalem have ignited the heaviest fighting in years between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

At the core of the violence that has left dozens dead are tensions between Israelis and Palestinians over Jerusalem, which contains sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

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