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Israel targets Hamas in Gaza City strike


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GAZA CITY (CNN) -- An explosion rocked a house in Gaza City early Wednesday, killing at least five people and wounding 16 others, Palestinian security sources and hospital sources said.

The Israel Defense Forces claimed responsibility for the blast, saying an Israeli air force helicopter was used to target senior Hamas leaders in Gaza City.

Early reports that Ahmed Jabari, a Hamas military commander in the region, had been killed were inaccurate.

Palestinian security sources and hospital sources said Jabari was wounded in the attack, but was treated at a hospital and released.

The home was in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City and belonged to Jabari.

Palestinian security sources said an Israeli Apache helicopter fired a missile which destroyed the home in a blast that could be heard throughout much of the city.

Shortly after the blast shook the neighborhood, crowds of people, including militants, took to the streets and gathered at Shifa Hospital, where the wounded had been taken.

Hospital officials and Hamas said the five dead included Jabari's 19-year-old son, who was an active member of the Hamas military wing Izzedine al Qassam; Jabari's brother; Jabari's son-in-law; and a junior member of Hamas who was the son-in-law of slain Hamas leader Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi.

Hamas is a Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization and has been labeled by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization. The group's military wing, Izzedine al Qassam, has admitted responsibility for terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians as well as attacks against the Israeli military.

Israel has said it will not hesitate to go after Hamas leaders in an effort to combat terrorism. In March, an Israeli strike killed Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin; and al-Rantissi, Yassin's successor as head of Hamas, was killed a month later in another strike.


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