Palestinian medics say at least 6 people were killed in what the Israeli Defense Forces dubbed an exchange of fire during “operational activity” in Gaza following reports of Israeli strikes and the killing of Hamas commanders.
At least two Hamas commanders have been killed in a shootout with Israeli forces that took place east of the town of Khan Younes, Interior Ministry in Gaza reported, as cited by Haaretz. The fire was opened from a passing car, a Hamas official told Reuters.
There have also been reports of Israeli warplanes targeting the area with some 40 missiles shortly after the incident. Another four people have been reportedly killed in the bombing.
Contrary to reports, none of our soldiers were abducted during the operational activity that took place in #Gaza.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDFSpokesperson) November 11, 2018
The two commanders killed in the alleged Israeli operation have been identified as Nur Barake and Muhammad al-Qara. Barake was a deputy commander of Hamas military wing, the Iz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Haaretz reported, citing a Palestinian source.
Seven other Palestinians were wounded, Palestinian Maan News Agency reported, citing a spokesman for the Gaza Health Ministry. The outlet also said an Israeli soldier was killed and another seriously wounded, but the Israeli military has denied taking any casualties.
Israel has acknowledged that the exchange of fire took place “during IDF operational activity” in the Gaza Strip, without providing details about the targets or the circumstances of the raid.
Multiple alarm sirens have sounded in the Eshkol Regional Council in southern Israel near the Gaza border. The IDF tweeted that Israeli missile defense systems have so far intercepted two projectiles coming from Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been in Paris to commemorate the centenary of the end of WWI along with other world leaders, cut his visit short to head back home.
Due to security incidents in the south, the Prime Minister has decided to cut short the trip to Paris and will return to Israel tonight.
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) November 11, 2018