IAF strike 298.88.
(photo credit: CNN [file])
Hamas vowed to avenge the deaths of six operatives killed in an IAF airstrike in Gaza on Monday night. One of the group's spokesmen, Abu Obeida, called the attack "an ugly Zionist slaughter," stressing that "all the options were open" for a Hamas response.
"The Zionist enemy is playing with fire and will have to face the consequences of this crime," he said, adding, "if the Zionists are worried about Kassams they should know that we possess even more dangerous weapons."
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri also threatened retaliation for the airstrike, which he said "came in harmony with the conspiracy of the Ramallah government to tighten the siege on our people, including cutting off electricity and arresting our holy warriors in the West Bank."
The operatives were killed in an IAF missile strike on a car traveling in central Gaza.
The IDF confirmed that an Israeli Air Force aircraft had fired a missile at the car, which the military said was being driven by Palestinian terrorists who had hours earlier fired several Kassam rockets into the western Negev.
Palestinians said that the car was leaving a Hamas military installation when it was hit by the missile. The six were identified as Hamas operatives and were said to have been behind mortar attacks on the Negev in recent weeks.
The IDF said that the successful strike was meant to also send a message to Hamas and other terror groups that rocket and mortar fire against Israel would not go unanswered. Earlier in the day, two Kassam rockets were fired at Israel and landed in fields in the western Negev.
AP contributed to the report