Hamas threatens to target Israeli houses, buildings after political leader survives Israeli airstrike
Israeli warplanes bombed Wednesday morning the home of Dr. Mahmoud al Zahar, 58, a senior spokesperson for Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Al Zahar sustained moderate injuries.
According to Palestinian sources, three members of al Zahar's family were killed in the attack.
The Hamas website reported that Al Zahar's son, Khaled, 26, was killed in the strike along with his 28-year-old bodyguard, Yousuf al Diri. It added that Al Zahar's wife and daughter sustained moderate to serious injuries. In addition, 20 others were injured.
After his treatment, Zahar himself left the hospital, and Hamas officials said he was taken to a safe place.
Eyewitnesses said an Israeli F-16 fighter jet dropped a one- ton bomb on al-Zahar’s home in downtown Gaza, destroying it completely and inflicting extensive damaged to surrounding buildings and civilian homes.
Following the attack, the military wing of Hamas threatened to change tactics by bombing Israeli houses and buildings. Hamas also claimed responsibility for Tuesday bombing inside Israel.
"The targeting of civilian houses is a violation of all red lines. Therefore, the Zionist enemy will have to shoulder responsibility for the targeting by us of houses and Zionist buildings everywhere in occupied Palestine," the Izz el-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing, said in a statement.
Palestinian Authority officials condemned the attempt to kill al Zahar, calling it a crime.
“It is not a great heroism to dispatch an F-16 to drop a one-tomb on a civilian home, that is terror and is perpetrated by a state that claims to fight terror,” said PA minister Yasser Abed Rabbo. “Violence begets violence and bloodshed leads to bloodshed.”
Mahmoud al-Zahar, a father of seven, is a surgeon by profession, and specializes in diseases of the thyroid. He was born in Gaza and trained in Egypt.
A member of the Hamas political leadership, he also used to lecture at the Islamic University in Gaza and was a member of the Council for Higher Education. In 1990, he was elected Chairman of the Arab Medical Association in Gaza.
Meanwhile, Israeli troops had taken up positions in Manara Square, in the center of the West Bank city of Ramallah and the adjacent Gamal Abed al Nasser mosque - around a kilometer from Palestinian president Yasser Arafat's headquarters.
Elsewhere, the Israeli military raided the West Bank villages of Rantis and arrested 20 men. People in this village said they believe two young men from the Abu Isleem clan, both Hamas supporters, carried out Tuesday's bombing attacks in Israel. The two - Ramez Abu Isleem, 24, and Ihab Abdel Qader, 20 - disappeared last week, villagers said. (Albawaba.com)
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