The Israeli army on Wednesday killed Hamas deputy military chief, Ahmed Al-Jaabari. An Israeli aircraft launched a missile towards his car in the center of Gaza.
Following the assassination, the Israeli army announced the start of an operation against armed groups in Gaza. The bombing came after several missiles were fired at southern Israel, probably from the Palestinian territory or from the Sinai.
Shin Bet, the Israeli security services, confirmed that they had carried out the attack, saying Jaabari was eliminated because of "his ten years ofterrorist activity."
"Ahmad Jaabari, head of the military wing of Hamas in the Gaza Strip was targeted by a joint Shin Bet and army operation," said for his part the Shin Bet in a statement. The armed wing of Hamas promised massive retaliation for the assassination of its leader, saying in a statement that it had "opened the gates of hell." The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said it is "mourning one of their main leaders Ahmad Jaabari," and vowed to continue on the path of resistance," according to the statement, asserting that "the occupation opened the gates of hell. "
Jaabari, appeared in public on 18 October 2011 during the handover of the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to Egyptian mediators. He joined Hamas after his detention by Israel following his arrest in 1982 for planning operations against Israel. Officially Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, is led by Mohammad Deif, Ahmad Jaabari was known in Gaza as the "General" or "Chief of Staff."
In 2003, he became the de facto leader of the armed wing of Hamas following an Israeli raid in which Mohammad Deif was injured. He was not spared by Israeli assassination attempts, including an air raid in 2004 which killed his eldest son, his brother and several of his cousins.