Israel claims to have destroyed Hamas leader's home in Gaza as cross-border attacks continue

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) says the home of the leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza has been destroyed. Israeli jets have been bombing the Palestinian enclave in response to the rocket barrage by Hamas.

IDF spokesperson Brigadier General Hidai Zilberman confirmed to Israeli media that the military targeted the home of Yehiyeh Sinwar, the top Hamas leader in Gaza, who is said to live in the town of Khan Younis. 

Al Jazeera cited a Hamas TV station confirming Sinwar’s home was attacked. The IDF also struck the home of his brother, another senior Hamas member, but it’s not clear if the two shared a residence. It is also not known if Sinwar was at home during the raid.

According to Gaza health officials, eight people were killed and 45 wounded, most of them civilians, in Israeli air raids overnight.

Hamas fired over 130 rockets towards Israel during the same period. There were no injuries from rockets or shrapnel, but 10 people were hurt while running to the bomb shelters, the Jerusalem Post said. 

Hamas and other militant groups have fired around 2,900 rockets at cities across southern and central Israel since Monday. Many of the projectiles were destroyed mid-air by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system, but others struck residential areas, killing at least 10 people and forcing many to hide in bomb shelters. The most recent victim was a 55-year-old-man from Ramat Gan, a Tel Aviv suburb, who died after being wounded by shrapnel in his apartment. 

Israel has responded to the barrage of rockets by bombing multiple targets in Gaza. While the IDF argues that it only targets Hamas operatives and their infrastructure, reports from Gaza say that more 174 Palestinians, inducing 47 children and 29 women, were killed in Israeli airstrikes during the past week. 

On Saturday, Israeli jets leveled a high-rise building that housed the offices of several media outlets, including AP, Al Jazeera and the Middle East Eye, as well as apartments. The occupants received a notice from the IDF ahead of the raid and managed to flee to safety. The attack was slammed by media outlets and journalists. 

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The IDF, which often accuses Hamas of using civilians as human shields, claimed that the demolished structure contained the group’s “military intelligence assets.” The Israeli army reiterated its position on Sunday, saying the building was used by Hamas as “an important base of operations,” and that the IDF warned the residents of the incoming airstrike. 

“Hamas & Islamic Jihad used this time to take items out of the building. We were willing to pay that price to not harm any civilians,” the IDF said. 

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