Jerusalem, Oct 10 (EFE).- Two senior Hamas officials died in an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the Israeli army said.
Yoad Abu Shmala, Hamas member and Gaza’s economy minister, and Zacaria Abu Maamar, head of Hamas’ department of internal relations, were killed in overnight bombardments, the statement said.
Israel has intensified its bombing campaign on Gaza, particularly hitting the neighborhood around the mosque of Al Forqan in the city of Khan Yunis, in the south of the strip, according to a statement by the Israeli Army.
On Tuesday alone, there were 100 attacks in the area, which Israel says is “a center of the Hamas terrorist organization, from where operations against Israel are launched,” the statement said. The area was also shelled by Israeli navy ships.
The Palestinian agency Sanad said that naval artillery fire destroyed several fishing boats in the port of Khan Yunis.
Israel also shelled Rafah on the border with Egypt to destroy a tunnel used to smuggle weapons and equipment into Gaza, the Israeli statement added.
At least two people died on Tuesday near Eshkol in southern Israel after rockets were launched from Gaza.
At midday, air raid alarms also sounded in central Israel for the first time since Monday morning, on the southern outskirts of Tel Aviv, although no injuries were reported.
On Tuesday afternoon, Hamas militants said that an airstrike targeting Ashkelon, an Israeli city just north of Gaza, would begin at 5 pm local time, warning residents to leave their homes.
Explosions were heard as the 5 pm deadline passed, according to reports.
Further north, an unknown number of missiles were launched from southern Lebanon at Israel, which responded with artillery fire.
Lebanese media, including TV station Al Manar which acts as a mouthpiece for the Shiite group Hezbollah, confirmed that several missiles had been fired on Tuesday, although it was unclear who was behind the attack.
At least 1,008 Israelis have died since Saturday, when a multi-pronged assault by Hamas began, Israel’s US embassy said, adding that more than 3,400 have been injured.
Hamas’ health ministry, meanwhile, has confirmed the deaths of at least 830 people in Gaza, with over 4,200 others injured, since the outbreak of violence on Saturday. EFE