Israel kills top Gaza militant, five others in air strike: Gaza officials
Smoke rises after an attack of Israeli aircraft in the south of Gaza City - REUTERS

GAZA: Israel assassinated a top local leader of the Islamic Jihad militant group in the northern Gaza Strip early Wednesday, neighbours and hospital officials said, and five others including family members were also killed.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said she had no initial details on the strike.

The militant, Hafez Hamad, his two brothers and his parents were killed when his house was bombed in an air strike in the town of Beit Hanoun in the northernGaza Strip, Hamas media and Gaza interior ministry said. An unidentified woman in the house was also killed.

That brought the death toll in Gaza to at least 22 since Israel launched its offensive on Tuesday. It included four Hamas gunmen, a senior Islamic Jihad leader and 17 civilians, including seven children.

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