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Ex-Israeli minister calls for assassinating Hamas leaders over rocket fire

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - DECEMBER 2: Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh makes a speech during the 12th conference on Jerusalem entitled, "The Vanguards of Jerusalem hold its Sword," in Istanbul, Turkey on December 2, 2021. ( Ömer Ensar - Anadolu Agency )
Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh makes a speech during the 12th conference on Jerusalem entitled, "The Vanguards of Jerusalem hold its Sword," in Istanbul, Turkey on December 2, 2021 [Ömer Ensar - Anadolu Agency]

A former Israeli minister has called for the assassination of top Hamas leaders in response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, Anadolu Agency reported.

"It is time to send Ismail Haniyeh and Yahya Sinwar to meet (former Hamas leader Abdul Aziz) al-Rantisi and (Hamas founder Ahmad) Yasin," former Communications Minister Ayoub al-Qara told the Israeli Channel 14.

Israel assassinated al-Rantisi and Yasin in 2004.

Al-Qara, who is a member of the right-wing Likud Party, said if Israel did not respond to the rocket fire by Hamas, "it will be a fatal blow to Israel's deterrence force."

"This will encourage Hamas and other groups in Gaza to continue firing at Israeli citizens," al-Qara said.

READ: Israel aircraft strike Gaza

Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes on several Hamas positions in Gaza late Saturday. Israeli tanks also shelled four observation towers of the Hamas-run Interior Ministry in northern Gaza.

No injuries were reported in the attacks, which the Israeli army said were in response to rocket fire from Gaza.

Israel launched an 11-day military offensive in Gaza in May 2020, in which more than 260 Palestinians were killed and thousands of others injured. Thirteen Israelis were also killed by rocket fire from Gaza.

The violence, the worst in years, came to a halt under an Egyptian-brokered truce on May 21.

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