GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) – An Israeli aircraft fired two missiles at a vehicle traveling in the Gaza Strip late Thursday, killing two people including a senior Hamas member at the top of Israel’s most-wanted list, a spokesman for the militant group said.

Adnan al-Ghoul, the No. 2 figure in the group’s military wing, died in the attack, said Hamas spokesman Musher al-Masri.

“It’s a new crime committed by the Zionist occupation government against one of the leaders of the Palestinian resistance,” al-Masri said.

The army had no immediate comment.

The Hamas military wing, Izzedine al Qassam, plans and carries out attacks on Israelis. Al-Ghoul’s killing leaves the Hamas military leadership exclusively in the hands of Mohammed Deif, its longtime chief.

Both men topped Israel’s wanted list and operated from hiding for years. Each escaped a September 2003 airstrike aimed at a gathering of the Hamas leadership in Gaza City.

The attack took place north of Gaza City as dozens of people were leaving a nearby mosque after evening prayers.

Following the airstrike, hundreds of people, including firefighters and security forces, gathered around the white Mitsubishi as ambulances rushed to the scene. The crowd chanted anti-Israel slogans and screamed for revenge.

Palestinian Cabinet minister Saeb Erekat condemned the killing, which he said “reflects the determination of the Israeli government to continue the path of military solutions rather than negotiations.”


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