Israeli airstrike kills Hamas naval commander in Gaza

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The Israeli military said Wednesday a recent airstrike had killed the commander of Hamas’s naval unit in Gaza City, accusing of “attacks” against troops during the seven-month war.

Mohammed Ahmed Ali was killed in an airstrike “in the past day”, the military said in a statement.

Hamas did not immediately comment when asked about Ali’s killing.

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Sources in the Palestinian militant group said he was a member of its armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.

The military statement said that “during the war, Ali was responsible for attacks on Israeli territory and against the [Israeli army] ground troops operating in the Gaza Strip” including in central Gaza over the past week.

Hamas’s armed wing has been engaged in fierce battles with Israeli forces across the Gaza Strip since war erupted on October 7 following the Palestinian group’s attack on southern Israel.

Al-Qassam Brigades regularly launch rockets towards Israeli territory, and claimed a barrage on Sunday at the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza that killed four soldiers.

Hamas’s October 7 attack resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

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The Israeli army did not say whether it believed Ali had been involved in planning or executing the attack.

Israel’s retaliatory military offensive in Gaza has killed at least 34,844 people, most of them women and children, according to the territory’s health ministry.

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