SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Hamas said on Wednesday that Israel’s military had killed the wife and son of Mohammed Deif, commander of the Islamist group’s al-Qassam military wing, in a bombing raid. Residents of the area north of Gaza City reported hearing five air strikes in the area on Tuesday evening on a house there. On Wednesday (20 August), Moussa Abu Marzouk, the deputy chief of Hamas’ political bureau, confirmed that Mr Deif’s wife and son were killed in a bombing raid on Tuesday evening.
The Palestinian Maan news agency said that the attack that killed his family members happened at the home of the al-Dalou family in the Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood of north Gaza, which it said had been hit by five Israel missiles. Mr Deif, has survived five past Israeli assassination attempts, most recently in 2006. Gaza ministry of health officials said that 11 Palestinians were killed overnight and 109 injured as Israel’s military began bombing on Tuesday evening. The dead reportedly included seven members of a family killed in an air strike in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip.
The war has killed 2,028 and injured 10,302 Palestinians to date, Gaza health officials said on Wednesday. On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers have died in combat, and three civilians were also killed. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, and Moshe Ya’alon ordered the Israeli forces to bomb Gaza. The Israeli army said it attacked about 60 targets in Gaza it described as “terror sites” on Tuesday, apparently including the Al-Dalou family home.
Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades said in response to the attack on Mr Deif’s family that “Israel, in this treacherous action, opened the gates of hell upon itself and it will pay a heavy price”. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, was due to travel to Qatar, one of Hamas’ principal foreign allies, to meet with the exiled leader of the Islamist movement, Khaled Meshaal, and the Persian Gulf state’s emir.
In Israel, both ruling and opposition politicians are calling on Mr Netanyahu to use more force in Gaza against Hamas. “It is high time that we put an end to Hamas,” Danny Danon, a member of the prime minister’s rightwing Likud, who Mr Netanyahu sacked as deputy defence minister last month, said on Wednesday. “The failed policy of ‘quiet will be met with quiet’ has achieved nothing but humiliation for Israel.”
Nachman Shai, a member of the centre-left Labour party, said on Tuesday evening after the fighting resumed and Israel withdrew its negotiating team from Cairo that Mr Netanyahu should end the negotiations. “No more talking – shoot,” Mr Shai said in remarks quoted by the Jerusalem Post newspaper on Wednesday. “That is the only language Hamas understands.”
Source: Financial Times