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Hamas says three senior commanders killed in Gaza

AFP , Thursday 21 Aug 2014
Smoke and fire rise from the explosion of an Israeli strike in Gaza City, Tuesday, July 29, 2014 (Photo: AP)

The armed wing of Hamas announced Thursday that three of its senior commanders were killed in a pre-dawn Israeli air strike in southern Gaza that medics said killed seven people.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades identified the three as Mohammed Abu Shamala, Raed al-Atar and Mohammed Barhum.

Witnesses said the strike, which took place in the southern city of Rafah on the Egyptian border, levelled a four-storey family home in Rafah.

The deadly raid strike came after the wife and infant son of the Brigades' top military leader, Mohammed Deif, were killed in an Israeli strike on a multi-storey building in Gaza City late Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the Brigades said Deif had escaped the attack and warned foreign airlines to halt flights into Tel Aviv, vowing no let up in its six-week war with Israel.

Emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said eight Palestinians were killed in pre-dawn air strikes on Thursday -- seven in Rafah and another in Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.

It was not immediately clear if the three dead commanders were among, or in addition to, the seven dead recorded by medics.

At least 2,058 Palestinians and 67 people on the Israeli side have now been killed since Israel's offensive on Gaza began on July 8. 

*This story was edited by Ahram Online. 

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