Israel strikes Gaza home of top Hamas terror leader

Earlier in the day, the Israeli military warned Associated Press staffers to evacuate before striking a building housing AP offices, where the IDF said Hamas used journalists as human shields.

By World Israel News Staff and AP

An Israeli airstrike on Saturday targeted the home of Khalil al-Hayeh, a top leader of Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror group.

Al-Hayeh’s home served as part of the Islamist group’s “terrorist infrastructure,” said the IDF.

Al-Hayeh is a senior Hamas figure in Gaza, and the attack signaled that Israel will continue to go after Hamas’ top leadership.

His fate after the strike was not immediately known.

Earlier in the day, the Israeli military warned Associated Press staffers and other tenants to evacuate the building housing AP offices, informing them that a strike was imminent within an hour. Three heavy missiles struck the 12-story building, collapsing it in a giant cloud of dust.

Hamas was also operating inside it, according to the Israeli military, which added that the terror group uses journalists as human shields.

Prior to the strike, an AP camera at the location offered 24-hour live shots of terrorists’ rockets arching toward the Jewish State.

The building also housed the offices of Qatari state outlet Al-Jazeera TV, which broadcasts anti-Israel and anti-Semitic propaganda.

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Since Monday night, Hamas has fired thousands of rockets are Israeli civilians, pounding the Gaza Strip in response with air strikes.

U.S. diplomat Hady Amr arrived Friday as part of Washington’s efforts to de-escalate the conflict, and the U.N. Security Council was set to meet Sunday. But Israel turned down an Egyptian proposal for a one-year truce that Hamas rulers had accepted, an Egyptian official said Friday on condition of anonymity to discuss the negotiations.

The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the two leaders had spoken, Netanyahu updated Biden on the developments and thanked him for the “unreserved support of the United States for our right to defend ourselves.”

A furious Israeli barrage early Friday destroyed a vast tunnel network used by Hamas.

Israeli media said the military believed dozens of terrorists were killed inside the tunnels. The Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups have confirmed 20 deaths in their ranks, but the military said the real number is far higher.