The anti-tank missile fired from Gaza on Wednesday killed a 21-year-old Israeli soldier – the first military death in the escalating violence between Israel and Hamas.
The Israel Defense Forces identified the dead soldier as Staff Sgt. Omer Tabib, a member of the Nahal Infantry Brigade’s 931st Battalion, the Times of Israel reported.
The strike also wounded two other soldiers, officials said.
Tabib was “killed this morning by the anti-tank missile fired by the Hamas terrorist group from Gaza in Israel,” the IDF said in a statement, adding that one of the two injured soldiers was an officer.
Gil Timor, the deputy mayor of the Hof Ashkelon area, also suffered a moderate splinter injury while helping to pull the other men out of the vehicle, the news agency reported.
He and the wounded troops were taken to nearby hospitals in Ashkelon and Beersheba.
The Hamas military wing had previously announced that it had targeted an Israeli military jeep in the northern Gaza Strip with the Kornet guided missile attack.
Militants from the Gaza Strip have fired more than 1,000 rockets since Monday, according to the IDF, which has carried out hundreds of air strikes on Islamist groups in the crowded coastal enclave.
In the meantime, the Israeli security agency Shin Bet has identified the four top commanders of the Hamas military leadership who were killed by the IDF during its coordinated strikes in Gaza City and Khan Younis.
The agency identified her as Bassem Issa, commander of the Hamas brigade in Gaza City. Jamaa Tahla, head of cyber command responsible for improving missile accuracy; Jamal Zabeda, Head of Research and Special Projects in Arms Production; and Hazzem Hatib, chief engineer in the arms production division, reported the Times of Israel.
The Shin Bet also said Sami Radwan, who headed Hamas’ technical intelligence division, and Walid Smali, who was in charge of industrial equipment for the arms manufacturing division, were killed in an earlier attack.
“In addition, 10 other members of the Hamas weapons manufacturing, research and development department were killed,” the agency said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “We have eliminated senior Hamas commanders, and this is just the beginning. We will inflict blows on them that they could not even dream of. “
Hamas confirmed the deaths of Issa and his “brothers in arms,” reported the Times of Israel.
“With pride, steadfastness and defiance, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades are proud of … the ordeal of Commander Bassem Issa,” said the group’s armed wing.