All four of his wives and several of his children also died in the sudden air raid.
“It was like an earthquake,” a neighbour said of the massive blast.
“This is a very bloody operation, by anybody’s standards, even by the standards” here said John Holmes, the UN’s undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and its emergency relief coordinator.
A mosque was destroyed in an Israeli missile strike in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip.
“The mosque was used as a storage site for a large amount of Grad missiles, Qassam rockets and additional weaponry,” an Israel Defense Forces spokesman said. “The strike set off a lengthy series of secondary explosions and a large fire, caused by the ammunitions stockpiled in the mosque.”
Palestinians gather around a mosque destroyed in an Israeli missile strike in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. The mosque destroyed Friday was known as a Hamas stronghold and was identified with Nizar Rayan, the Hamas militant leader killed Thursday along with his four wives, ten of his children, 20 people in all. Hamas has boasted that more than 100 of the mosque’s worshippers have been killed in the past on missions against Israelis.(AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Following Thursday’s death of top terror sheikh Nizar Rayyan, killed in an IAF strike, Ismail Radwan, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, called on Hamas’s armed wing to harm “Zionist interests” everywhere, Israel Radio reported.
destroyed the homes of more than a dozen operatives and bombed one of its mosques on Friday, according to the Associated Press. In what appeared to be a new Israeli tactic, the military called at least some of the houses ahead of time to warn inhabitants of an impending attack. In some cases, it also fired a sound bomb to warn away civilians before flattening the homes with powerful missiles, Palestinians and Israeli defense officials said.
For days, Gazans have been asking the Israeli newspaper Haaretz why Israel is hitting Hamas foot soldiers, empty buildings and innocent civilians rather than the leadership. They see this as proof of Israel’s inability to really deal with Hamas.
Nizar Rayan death shows that Israel is no longer holding anything back.
And Gazans are responding in kind.
“We call on our people and the resistance groups — along with al-Qassam Brigades — to revenge for the blood of the Imam, leader and martyr Nizar Rayan, as well the blood of our people’s martyrs,” Hamas leader Ismail Redwan said in a eulogy broadcast on Al-Aqsa.
Haaretz reported today:
Almost a week into the war it now seems clear that Israel missed a golden opportunity in the first or second day to end the operation as a reprisal action only. The government says it is giving the IDF a chance to achieve the maximum, but in reality the air strikes were to have given the government time to come up with an exit strategy. That did not happen. As a result, Hamas is rallying somewhat while Israel is sliding toward a a ground operation that holds many risks.
The battle is being conducted in the shadow of a looming, election-eve political crisis, with tensions especially high between Livni and Labor Party chairman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The latter gained points early in the operation but in the past two days his mood seems to have soured, following media criticism after it was leaked that he was willing to consider a cease-fire before a ground offensive.
More than 20 air strikes were carried out on Hamas in the Gaza by the IAF Friday, following some 50 rocket attacks by Hamas.