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Israel-Gaza: Top Islamic Jihad commander killed as Israeli forces unleash ‘heaviest bombardment of war’

·1-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

A top commander with the Islamic Jihad militant group has reportedly been killed in an Israeli airstike in Gaza.

Hussam Abu Harbeed’s death was confirmed by the Israeli military, according to Reuters, with the press agency further confirming the incident with a source within the militant group.

The Israeli military reportedly said the Islamic Jihad northern division commander “was behind several anti-tank missile terror attacks against Israeli civilians”.

His death could draw a severe response from the militant group as Israel continues to hammer sites associated with Hammas, including an underground tunnel system the Israeli military said is used by militants.

It comes after Israeli army unleashed heavy airstrikes on Gaza City in the early hours of Monday morning, bombing what it said were underground tunnels used by Hamas militants.

Just before 2am, dozens of Israeli warplanes launched a heavy bombardment in what the army says is a bid to destroy the underground “metro” system.

Civilians on the ground described as many as 50 airstrikes in just 10 minutes, with photos showing the night’s sky over Gaza city alight with fire.

The bombardment came as fighting entered its second week, with at least 200 Palestinians, including 58 children, killed in the days since the recent surge in violence began, according to figures provided by the Gaza Health Ministry.

Meanwhile, ten people have been killed in Israel, including two children, Israeli authorities have said.

The surge in violence shows no sign of stopping, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing to continue the campaign at “full force”, despite international calls for calm.

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