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Rediff.com  » News » Israel assassinates Jabari, the 'Osama of Hamas'

Israel assassinates Jabari, the 'Osama of Hamas'

Last updated on: November 14, 2012 22:28 IST

Israel assassinates Jabari, the 'Osama of Hamas'

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Israel has killed Ahmed Jabari, a top military commander of the Hamas, in an airstrike on the Gaza Strip, bringing the two sides to the brink of a possible new war.

As part of Operation Cloud Pillar, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades chief was killed along with his son after their car was targeted by missiles.

A video from Gaza showed the charred and mangled wreckage of a car belching flames, as emergency crews picked up what appeared to be body parts.

Hamas has announced that Jabari's elimination marks a new heightened state of warfare with Israel.

Israel Defence Force spokesman Brig Gen Binayahu told Channel 2 TV news channel, "The Hamas is now in shock, confused for we 'hit their head. We got Jabari, and this is their Bin Laden. The IDF must be prepared for a major long operation. This is not going to pass in a number of Days. There is no doubt the air force is working to knock out the Fajar rockets that can hit deeper into Israel, including Gush Dan. I do not think the IDF wants to send ground force in but nevertheless stands prepared. This is no less than the elimination of Bin Laden for this area, and Hamas is now contacting everyone it can despite strained relations, including Turkey and Jordan."

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Photographs: Hamas Media Office /Reuters

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Israel assassinates Jabari, the

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The purpose of the campaign, dubbed 'Pillar of Cloud,' is to strike a blow at the command and control of Hamas and to undermine the organization's terrorist infrastructure.

For the time being the operation is intended as a surgical strike of the IDF, in collaboration with the ISA (Israel Security Agency or Shabak), with targets picked based on accurate intelligence and advanced fire capabilities.

Israeli aircraft struck at least 20 rocket-launching pads belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Dozens of long-range rockets were destroyed, including Fajr-5 missiles. The destroyed rockets and missiles had a range of more than 40 kilometers.

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Image: A Hamas police officer checks the destroyed car
Photographs: Mohammed Salem/Reuters

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Israel assassinates Jabari, the 'Osama of Hamas'

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According to reports in Gaza, Israel also tried to kill Ra'ad al-Atar, another senior Izz al-Din al-Qassam commander. He apparently survived.

Following the elimination of the senior Hamas official, IDF has issued rocket attack alert to all residents of southern communities up to 40km mark from Gaza border.

Israel insists that the IDF operations got underway following the 'intolerable situation in the south of Israel, in order to harm the terrorist organisations operating in the Gaza Strip'.

Hamas has governed Gaza since 2007 and does not recognise Israel's right to exist. It has been emboldened by the rise to power in neighbouring Egypt of its spiritual mentors in the Muslim Brotherhood whom it views as a "safety net".

Israel last staged a full-scale attack on Gaza during a three week conflict in 2008 and 2009 in which 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed.


Image: A man holds a damaged copy of the Quran after the Israeli air strike
Photographs: Mohammed Salem/Reuters

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