Seven Palestinians were killed on Sunday in a new Israeli airstrike on the besieged Gaza Strip. One of Hamas’s military commanders was killed in the Israeli raids, while one Israeli soldier was killed.
The Israeli army said that its Iron Dome system intercepted two Palestinian rockets. The Israeli air raids provided a cover for the Israeli commandos to escape back into Israel by car after the assassination of Nour Baraka, a commander of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas.
Hamas, which is governing the Gaza Strip, said that a group of Israeli commanders opened fire on a group of its individuals on Sunday night. The attack resulted in the death of Baraka in an area near the southern city of Khan Younis in a civilian vehicle.
In a statement, the Israeli army said that “during a special forces operational activity in the Gaza Strip, an exchange of fire evolved.” The statement added that “at this incident, an officer was killed, and an additional officer was moderately injured.”
Arab media reported that the Israeli aircrafts fired over 40 missiles during the assault in order to cover the its soldiers’ escape.
Following the news about the tension, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut his visit to Paris, France, and returned back to Tel Aviv to follow up on the updates of the situation. The tension comes amid Egyptian efforts for mediation between Hamas and Israel.
Mass demonstrations started in Gaza since the end of March, commemorating the 42nd anniversary of Land Day dubbed the ‘Great Return March’.