UPDATE: The IDF confirmed casualties among its personnel.
During IDF special forces’ operational activity in #Gaza, an exchange of fire broke out, during which an IDF officer was killed and an additional IDF officer was moderately injured.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDFSpokesperson) November 11, 2018
The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades launched at least 17 projectiles at targets northeast of Gaza. 3 of them were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome.
On November 11, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades [the military wing of the Hamas Movement] announced that a unit of Israeli special forces had assassinated one of its senior commanders inside the Gaza Strip.
According to the official statement of the al-Qassam Brigades, the special forces unit sneaked into the city of Khan Yunis in the southern part of Gaza and killed the commander. On its way back, fighters of al-Qassam noticed the Israeli unit and clashed with it. However, Israeli warplanes stepped in and began conducting airstrikes to cover the unit.
“Enemy warplanes intervened and carried out airstrikes to cover the withdrawal of the special unit, which resulted in the martyrdom of many of our people,” the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades said in the official statement.
Palestinian sources said that “Nur Barake,” a deputy commander of an elite unit of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, was the target of the Israeli special operation. Five other Palestinian civilians and fighters were reportedly killed as a result of the clashes and the Israeli airstrikes.
The Israeli military confirmed that it had carried out an operation inside the Gaza Strip and said that none of the personnel involved in the operation were captured. However, the Israeli media claimed that an Israeli service member was killed and another one was injured during the clashes.
“During IDF operational activity in the Gaza Strip, an exchange of fire broke out,” the Israeli military said on Twitter.
Following the Israeli operation, many rockets were launched by Palestinian fighters at Israeli settlements around the Gaza Strip. Some of the rockets were reportedly intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome anti-rocket system.
The situation in the Gaza Strip is expected to escalate even further in the upcoming few hours. This could delay the Qatari plan to open a naval route between Gaza and Cyprus, under a deal with Israel.