Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouk said on Wednesday that Israel carried out a targeted strike against the terror groups armed wing leader, Mohammad Deif.
The strike was unsuccessful in neutralizing Deif but his wife and one child were killed.
On Tuesday afternoon, terrorists operating out of Gaza fired rockets upon Israel, breaking an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered retaliatory strikes in Gaza on terror targets.
The IDF strike aimed at Deif took place Tuesday evening among what were some 30 airstrikes carried out against the Strip.
The Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported that Deif was hiding out with his family and other civilians in the three-story home of the al-Dalou family. According to their report, the home was hit by five missiles.
Marzouk said that Israel were the ones who broke the ceasefire in order “to assassinate Mohammad Deif.”
Spokesman from the Prime Minister’s Office, Mark Regev, told AFP, “The rocket fire which broke the ceasefire also destroyed the foundation on which the talks in Cairo were based.”
“The Egyptian initiative is based on a total and unconditional cessation of hostilities, which was clearly broken when rockets were fired into Israel,” he added.
In response to the airstrike, Hamas unleashed a barrage of rockets across Israel on Tuesday night. A member of the Palestinian negotiating team in Cairo said that Hamas’s military wing fired the rockets in response to the “massacre” at the al-Dalou home.
The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades threatened that “Israel, in this treacherous action, opened the gates of hell upon itself and it will pay a heavy price.”
Overnight Tuesday, the IDF said “about 50” rockets were fired upon Israel, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Be’er Sheva.
“A rocket hit an open area in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area,” the army stated, adding that two rockets hit close to Be’er Sheva, which is home to some 200,000 Israelis.
In the more than month-long conflict between Israel and Hamas, several hundred Palestinian civilians have died in the conflict. 67 Israelis have died since July 8.