By Dave Bender
An reported Israeli Air Force targeted strike on a Hamas terror chief in Gaza on Tuesday left the group threatening a harsh response.
The strike came right after rockets slammed southern Israel breaking a 24-hour cease-fire between the terror group and the Jewish state that followed several days of quiet.
After one of the first volleys, IDF aircraft bombed a house in the coastal enclave’s Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City, possibly killing senior Hamas rocket commander, Mohammed Yassin Dalu, 50, Israeli Army Radio reported.
Neither Israel nor Hamas have announced the identity of the target, as of midnight.
Unconfirmed Israeli emergency service reports said 11 people were hurt or killed in the attempted assassination.
Dalu, who headed Hamas’ rocket division was also targeted in a 2012 attempt, according to Channel 2 News.
Hamas, in a statement released after the strike, said the IDF’s move was, “opening the gates of hell,” and vowed that the “price will be very heavy.”
“We will protect Gazans and the inner front the way we did just before the ceasefire,” Hamas’ Interior Minister said.
Also on Tuesday Hamas official Abu Marzouk said that Israel targeted the group’s military commander Mohammed Deif. Marzouk claimed that Deif’s wife and daughter were killed in the strike but had no word on the elusive commander.
Hamas and other Gaza terrorist groups fired some 50 rockets into Israel as far north as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on Tuesday, shattering the cease-fire some seven hours early.
There were no reports of injury, although damage was caused when rocket shrapnel hit a car in the Tel Aviv area, and hit a coffee shop in a southern community near Gaza.
The long-range rocket barrage was the 11th time Hamas had broken a cease-fire in recent weeks, according to Israeli officials.
“Israeli cities are under rocket attack. Millions of Israelis are running to bomb shelters. Hamas made its decision. Now we will make ours,” the IDF Spokesman said in a brief statement hinting at a heavy-firepower response.
The army may also be preparing to reenter Gaza, according to initial reports, late Tuesday night.
Palestinian Hamas-affiliated sources said that more than 2,000 people have been killed throughout Israel’s current Operation Protective Edge and some 10,000 have been wounded in IDF strikes and Hamas’ use of human shields.