Hamas commander ‘is killed as Israeli Special Forces launch bid to kidnap him sparking gun battle that causes casualties on both sides’
- Israeli military has confirmed ‘an exchange of fire’ took place in the Gaza strip
- Palestinian Health Ministry believes five militants have been killed in fighting
- Local witnesses say 20 missiles fired into open areas where incident took place
Israeli special forces soldiers have this evening killed a Hamas commander after launching a bid to kidnap him which resulted in a gun battle that caused casualties on both sides, according to reports.
Palestinian officials have said that Israeli security forces killed a commander from the Hamas Islamist group in the Gaza Strip today.
They said a group of Hamas men were fired at from a passing car. Local witnesses also said Israeli planes fired over 20 missiles into open areas in the area where the incident took place.
The Israeli military said in a brief statement that: ‘During IDF (Israel Defense Forces) operational activity in the Gaza Strip, an exchange of fire evolved.’
Earlier reports suggested that at least two are dead following the clash with Israeli forces.
But now the Palestinian Health Ministry has said that five militants have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza fighting.
Palestinian security sources said the clash occurred east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.
Sunday’s exchange of fire came as Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers appeared to be making progress toward an unofficial cease-fire.
Israel last week allowed Qatar to deliver $15million to Hamas, while Hamas scaled back its weekly demonstration along the Israeli border.
It was not immediately clear what sparked the fighting. Shortly after the exchange of fire, air raid sirens sounded in southern Israel, indicating rocket fire from Gaza.
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