Major Israeli operations occurred in the Gaza Strip in the night hours of Sunday during which Palestinian medical sources say at least 6 people have been killed in what was a daring Israeli elite forces raid that breached about 3 kilometers into Palestinian territory.
Palestinian officials confirmed an Israeli special forces raid on a group of Hamas commanders in the city of Khan Younis, which the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) say killed suspected Hamas terrorists, including a senior commander in its military wing.
Israeli media sources uploaded a military video of the brazen raid into Gaza:
Hamas sources say the group returned fire upon Israeli soldiers, resulting in unconfirmed reports circulating that one IDF soldier was either nabbed or killed.
Responding to the early reports, the IDF denied that one of its soldiers had either been killed or captured.
Hamas meanwhile acknowledged that a top Qassam Brigades commander, Nour Baraka, was killed by Israeli special forces who entered the area by driving what it described as a “civilian vehicle”.
Gaza’s Interior Ministry reported at least one other Hamas commander killed in the shootout which began when the Israeli commandos ambushed the Hamas location in a drive-by shooting.
The Israeli military confirmed that “an exchange of fire broke out during security activities by the IDF in the Gaza Strip region,” but did not elaborate further. Israeli warplanes and drones began striking the Gaza during the raid.
Amazingly, after the shootout the Israeli special forces team managed to escape across the border fence as aircraft laid down cover fire, according to the Times of Israel.
During the exchange of gunfire communities in southern Israel reported up to multiple rockets fired out of Gaza – one which hit an open field – and claimed further “interceptions by the Iron Dome,” according to an Israeli spokesperson.
Meanwhile the IDF spokesman took the unusual step of stating “contrary to reports, none of our soldiers were abducted during the operational activity that took place in Gaza” but refused to comment on further claims of casualties circulating after the raid.
Currently, the region is on edge as some citizens in southern Israel told Haaretz the exchange of fire “sounded almost like a war.” Multiple rocket sirens were triggered in southern Israel — likely, sporadic fighting will continue to escalate in the aftermath of Sunday nights clashes.
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