IAF bombs Hamas PM's Gaza HQ; Haniyeh unhurt

IDF strikes 200 targets overnight, hitting Hamas offices; PM calls US President Obama to discuss options for "de-escalating."

November 17, 2012 12:03
3 minute read.
Hamas Headquarters bombed.

Hamas Headquarters bombed 390. (photo credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)

The Israel Air force struck Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh's headquarters in the northern Gaza Strip early Saturday morning, according to the IDF Spokesman's Office.

Haniyeh was not at the headquarters during the IAF strike, Israel Radio reported. It was not immediately clear whether there were any casualties in the strike.

Heavy rocket fire started anew Saturday morning after a relatively quiet night, with 50 rockets fired at southern Israeli cities since midnight. In total, Palestinians fired 660 rockets toward the Jewish state since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense on Wednesday, but only 27 landed in built-up areas. Iron Dome intercepted 213 projectiles, maintaining a 90% intercept rate.
Three IDF soldiers were lightly injured by shrapnel from a rocket in the Eshkol area. Palestinian sources report 39 Palestinian deaths, according to Israel Radio.

The Hamas cabinet headquarters were targeted with four airstrikes and were completely destroyed, a Hamas official told AFP.

"Each time that Hamas fires [into Israel], there will be a harsher and harsher response," he added.

Debate over an incursion into Gaza comes after three days of constant rocket-fire from the Strip, which has reached as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for the first time, and targeted Israeli strikes against terrorist leaders and weapons depots in Gaza.

IDF assassinates two Hamas members

The IDF assassinated two Hamas members in Gaza on Friday evening.

The first, Muhammad Abu Jalal, was a Hamas company commander in central Gaza's El Muazi area, and the second, Khaled Shaeer, operated anti-tank missiles.

Earlier, the IDF sent text messages to 12,000 Gazan civilians, warning them to stay away from Hamas members.

The IDF also revealed on Friday that it had taken out Hamas's nascent drone program.

The military recently focused its intelligence efforts on a group of Hamas terrorists who were developing and producing drones designed to strike fortified targets in Israel.

The terrorists were under the instruction of Iranian technical instructors, and the 'production team' carried test flights in Gaza of the drones.

The IAF struck the test flight sites in recent attacks.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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