GAZA (Reuters) – Israeli security forces killed six Palestinians including two commanders from the Hamas Islamist group in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, Palestinian officials said.
A Hamas official said violence erupted when a group of its armed men were fired at from a passing car belonging to Israeli security forces and Hamas members gave chase.
Witnesses said that during the chase Israeli aircraft fired over 40 missiles in the area where the incident took place, killing four other people. It was unclear how many were gunmen.
At least six people were killed including commanders Nour Baraka and Mohammad Al-Qarra, medical officials said.
The Israeli military said in a brief statement that: “During IDF (Israel Defense Forces) operational activity in the Gaza Strip, an exchange of fire evolved.”
Shortly after the violence erupted, sirens warning of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip sounded in southern Israel, though there were no immediate reports of any damage or injuries.
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman was holding consultations at Israel’s military headquarters to discuss the situation, his office said in a statement.