The Israeli Air Force has killed top Hamas commanders Ahmed Jabari and Raed al-Atar and Israeli news agencies are now reporting that Jabari’s son also died in the strike. Jabari was the deputy commander of the armed wing of Hamas, the highest ranking official to be killed since Israel’s 2008 military sweep of the Gaza Strip. Israel claimed that Jabari was a “man with a lot of blood on his hands.”
Hamas stated that it is now in an indefinite state of “open war” with Israel and that no tactics were off the table in retaliating. Top Hammas commander Ismail al-Ashkar said that “the resistance’s options are now open and they include suicide attacks and quality attacks in Israel cities.”
The armed division of Hamas, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, told AFP that the killings have “opened the gates of hell,” and that they intend to “continue the path of resistance.”
Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Warren said that Washington is closely monitoring the developments:
“We’re monitoring the situation closely. We stand by our Israeli partners in their right to defend themselves against terrorism.”
Today’s hostilities follow an incident last week in which Hamas fired on an Israeli patrol unit, nearly killing two Israeli soldiers and seriously wounding 2 others. Over the weekend Hamas escalated rocket attacks into southern Israel to which Israel responded by pounding 20 rocket-launching pads belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, causing serious damage to their long-range missile capabilities. Israeli tank fire was also reported in Gaza.
The Israeli military isn’t the group of guys I would want to piss off as they’re a nearly identical fighting force to that of the U.S. military – just smaller in size. But their sting is as accurate and deadly – capable of hitting targets the size of a compact car and killing it’s occupants while treating the flowers on the curb to a spritz of radiator water. Hamas is in no way equipped to handle a fully engaged war with the likes of Israel.
The U.S. and Israel have openly shared military technology for 50 years, and it’s been a mutually rewarding relationship, with the U.S. benefiting early on after Israel broke ties with Russia, handing the Red, White and Blue very sensitive Russian jet fighter technology which is still apparent even in today’s most advanced U.S. fighter aircraft.
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