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Israel Strikes House of Hamas Political Chief in Gaza

Israel Strikes House of Hamas Political Chief in Gaza

Sunday, 16 May, 2021 - 06:30
Gaza's Hamas Chief Yehya Al-Sinwar talks to media, in Gaza City October 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Israeli airstrikes hit the home of Yahya Sinwar, the top Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, the army said Sunday, but without saying if he was killed.

"Among the targets struck are the residences of Yahya Sinwar, Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau in Gaza, as well as of his brother, Muhammad Sinwar, Head of Logistics and Manpower for Hamas," Israel's army said in a statement, releasing a video showing plumes of smoke and intense damage.

"Both residences served as military infrastructure for the Hamas terror organization."

Sinwar, a former commander of Hamas's military branch, served more than two decades in an Israeli jail before he was released in 2011 as a part of a prisoner exchange.

First elected as the head of Hamas's political wing in Gaza in 2017, he was re-elected in March, extending his tenure as the movement's de facto leader in the Palestinian enclave.

The army said it had also carried out strikes targeting Hamas tunnel systems.

As of 07:00 am (0400 GMT) Sunday, Israel's army said that Palestinian militants in Gaza had fired some 2,900 rockets towards Israel.

The army said 450 rockets fell short inside Gaza, while Israel's Iron Dome air defense system has intercepted approximately 1,150 rockets.

Hamas and the Islamic Jihad have acknowledged 20 fighters killed since the fighting broke out Monday, while Israel says the real number is far higher.

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