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Hamas vows revenge for strikes

July 7, 2014

The Islamist militant group Hamas has vowed revenge for Israeli air strikes that killed several of its members. Meanwhile, the Israeli premier has expressed his condolences to the father of a slain Palestinian youth.

Israels Luftstreitkräfte bombardieren Ziele im Gazastreifen
Image: Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

News agencies quoted Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Suhri as saying "the enemy will pay a tremendous price" just hours after seven of its members were killed in Israeli air strikes early on Monday.

The militant group said six of its members were killed in an Israeli air strike on a tunnel used by the militants. The other was killed in a separate strike. Two members of another Palestinian militant group were also reported killed in the deadliest night of fighting since the latest round of attacks began several weeks ago.

Israel said the militants killed had been involved in rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, which Hamas controls, on communities in the south of the country.

Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman, described the Palestian rocket attacks as "unbearable and unacceptable."

"We will continue to act in order to debilitate and incapacitate the Hamas terror infrastructure, striking its warehouses, rocket manufacturing capabilities and those that endanger the well-being of the Israelis in the south of the country," he told the Associated Press.

Condolences for Palestinian father

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a telephone conversation with the father of a Palestinian teenager who was kidnapped and killed last week to express his condolences.

"I would like to express my outrage and that of the citizens of Israel over the reprehensible murder of your son," Netanyahu said, according to a statement released by his office. "We acted immediately to apprehend the murderers. We will bring them to trial and they will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law. We denounce all brutal behavior, the murder of your son is abhorrent and cannot be countenanced by any human being," the prime minister added.

The phone call came a day after Israeli security forces arrested six suspects accused of involvement of the killing of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a 16-year-old Palestinian from east Jerusalem. The killing of Khdeir, which sparked angry protests by Palestinians in and around Jerusalem, is thought to have been a revenge attack by Jewish extremists, after three Israeli youths who had gone missing last month were found dead.

Although it has praised the killings of the Israeli youths, Hamas has not claimed responsibility.

pfd/tj (AFP, AP, dpa)

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