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Wife and daughter of Qassam commander killed in Israeli attack

August 20, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Commander-in-chief of the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, Mohammed Deif

A Hamas leader said Wednesday that the wife and daughter of the commander of Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, the group’s armed wing, were among the victims of an Israeli airstrike that targeted a house in Gaza City on Tuesday.

According to Moussa Abu Marzouq, the wife and daughter of Mohamed Deif were among the three victims of the Israeli airstrike on the house of al-Dalw family in Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in northwestern Gaza City, which left also 45 people wounded, mostly women and children.

In a statement, Abu Marzouq linked the airstrike to a decision by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to withdraw Israeli negotiators from Egypt-hosted indirect talks on a permanent truce in Gaza following the collapse of a temporary ceasefire on Tuesday.

“In an unexpected move, Israel announced the fall of three rockets [from Gaza] on its territory, and Netanyahu announced the end of talks, withdrawal of the Israeli delegation and terminating the ceasefire to everybody’s surprise,” Abu Marzouq, a member of the Palestinian delegation to the talks, wrote on his Facebook account.

“We did not know the reason of these moves, but shortly the news came in; there were no rockets fired from Gaza, but it was a pretext to target a senior Hamas figure,” he said.

“And the new crime was targeting the house of al-Dalw family, in which the wife and daughter of al-Qassam Brigades commander Mohamed Deif were killed,” he added.

Earlier in the day, the Brigades said that a barrage of rockets it had fired at Israeli cities since Tuesday came in retaliation for an Israeli “massacre” against al-Dalw family.

“We dare the Zionist enemy to declare the true cause behind hitting the house of al-Dalw family in Gaza City,” the Brigades said in a statement, without stating who the victims of the airstrike were then.

“This response is just the beginning, and the enemy has opened the gates of hell on themselves and would pay a hefty price for this attack,” it added.

Violence flared up in the Palestinian territories on Tuesday following the collapse of a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza Strip between Palestinian factions and Israel.

On Tuesday, Israel launched several airstrikes across the Palestinian territory, leaving three people dead and 53 people injured, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Israeli army said the attacks came in response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip despite a temporary ceasefire, which was set to expire at Tuesday midnight.

Hamas, for its part, has described the Israeli attacks as an attempt to undermine Egypt-hosted negotiations aimed at reaching a permanent ceasefire.

The Qassam Brigades, meanwhile, claimed to have fired 50 rockets at Israeli cities on Tuesday in response to the Israeli attacks.

At least 2018 Palestinians have been killed and more than 10,000 others injured in more than a month of devastating Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip since July 7.

According to Israeli figures, at least 64 Israeli soldiers have been killed in recent ground battles with Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip – the highest military death toll for Israel of any of its three onslaughts on the territory.

Three Israeli civilians, meanwhile, have been killed by rocket fire from Gaza.

Since 2007, the Gaza Strip – home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – has reeled under a crippling Israeli blockade that has badly affected the local economy and played havoc with residents’ livelihoods.