Israel hits dozens of targets in Gaza

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Associated Press

Posted on November 14, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 14 at 11:34 AM

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel has been hitting dozens of targets in Gaza, in the most intense attack since an Israeli offensive four years ago.

Earlier today, an Israeli airstrike killed the commander of the Hamas military wing in Gaza. The killing marks a dramatic resumption of Israel's policy of assassinating Palestinian militant leaders.

The Israeli military says it's the start of a major offensive called "Pillar of Defense." It says it's in response to days of heavy rocket fire from Gaza aimed at southern Israel.

Palestinians are calling for harsh retaliation. Hamas has announced a state of emergency in Gaza. It's evacuated all of its security buildings.

Ahmad Jabari was the most senior Hamas official to be killed since the last war in Gaza ended in early 2009. He has long been at the top of Israel's most-wanted list. Witnesses say he was traveling in a vehicle in Gaza City when the car exploded.

In addition to Jabari, eight others were killed in the strikes.

Israel used the tactic of targeted assassinations a decade ago, during a wave of suicide bombings against Israel. The practice set off a wave of criticism from rights groups and foreign governments.

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187-c-17-(Aron Heller, AP correspondent)-"Israel's hit list"-AP correspondent Aron Heller reports Israel says the top Hamas commander who was killed, Ahmed Jabari, had a lot of blood on his hands. (14 Nov 2012)

<<CUT *187 (11/14/12)>> 00:17 "Israel's hit list"

186-c-17-(Aron Heller, AP correspondent)-"beginning of 2009"-AP correspondent Aron Heller reports Israeli airstrikes have hit a series of targets across Gaza City. (14 Nov 2012)

<<CUT *186 (11/14/12)>> 00:17 "beginning of 2009"

APPHOTO DV118: Palestinian men react at hospital after the body of Ahmed Jabari, head of the Hamas military wing, was brought, in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. The Israeli military said its assassination of the Hamas military commander marks the beginning of an operation against Gaza militants. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa) (14 Nov 2012)

<<APPHOTO DV118 (11/14/12)>>

APPHOTO DV117: Palestinian security forces wheel into a hospital the body of Ahmed Jabari, head of the Hamas military wing, in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. The Israeli military said its assassination of the Hamas military commander marks the beginning of an operation against Gaza militants. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa) (14 Nov 2012)

<<APPHOTO DV117 (11/14/12)>>

APPHOTO DV111: Columns of smoke rise following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Palestinian witnesses say Israeli airstrikes have hit a series of targets across Gaza City, shortly after the assassination of the top Hamas commander. Hamas security officials say two Hamas training facilities were among the targets in the Wednesday afternoon bombings. (AP Photo/Adel Hana) (14 Nov 2012)

<<APPHOTO DV111 (11/14/12)>>

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