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Israel Says it Has Killed Hamas Commanders in Airstrikes in Gaza and Khan Younis

Smoke rises during an Israeli air strike, amid a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence, in Gaza City.

Smoke rises during an Israeli air strike, amid a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence, in Gaza City.

The Israeli army said it carried out a complex and first-of-its-kind operation, adding those targeted were a key part of the Hamas General Staff.

The Israeli military says it has killed several senior Hamas militant commanders in airstrikes in Gaza and Khan Younis. The army released a statement on Wednesday, saying that it carried out a complex and first-of-its-kind operation. Those targeted, it said, were a key part of the Hamas General Staff' and considered close to the head of the group's military wing.

Hamas had no comment. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will use an iron fist if needed to stop widespread protests by Arab citizens that have resulted in injuries, arrests, and property damage. Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Israel will stop the anarchy after deploying Border Police forces to calm unrest in recent days in the cities of Lod and Acre.

The mounting unrest comes after weeks of violence in Jerusalem and heavy fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip in recent days. The fighting is rooted in a long dispute over contested Jerusalem. After Hamas rained rockets inside Israel on Monday, the conflict suddenly erupted and increasingly resembles the 2014 Gaza war. Netayahu says Israel will "stop the anarchy and restore governance to the cities of Israel, with an iron fist if needed, with all forces needed and all authorities required.

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first published:May 12, 2021, 20:25 IST