An Israeli air strike on a home in the Gaza Strip on Thursday killed a senior Hamas political leader, Hamas security sources said. Nizar Rayyan, the most senior Hamas leader to be killed by Israel in a six-day-old Gaza Strip air offensive, was an outspoken advocate of launching further attacks against Israel. It also killed 12 other people including two of 52 year old Rayan's four wives and four of his 12 children, Palestinian health officials said.
According to the Israeli intelligence, Rayyan was believed to have formulated Hamas' operational plan for the takeover of Gaza in July 2007, and was in charge of weapons production for the movement's armed wing Ezz ad-Din al Qassam Brigades. He sent one of his sons on an October 2001 suicide mission that killed two Israeli settlers in Gaza Strip.