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The Boston Globe

World

Israeli strikes on Gaza kill Hamas official

JERUSALEM — Israel launched its most ferocious assault on Gaza in four years Wednesday after persistent Palestinian rocket fire, hitting at least 20 targets in aerial attacks that killed the top military commander of Hamas, damaged Israel’s fragile relations with Egypt, and escalated risks of a new war in the Middle East.

The Israel Defense Forces coupled the intensity of the airstrikes with the threat of a ground invasion of Gaza similar to its three-week operation in the winter of 2008-09, shifting infantry brigades and calling up some specialist reserves. The Israelis also warned all Hamas leaders in Gaza to stay out of sight or risk the same fate as the Hamas military commander, Ahmed al-Jabari, who was killed in a pinpoint airstrike as he was riding in a car down a Gaza street.

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