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AKIPRESS.COM - Reports emerging from Israel and the Gaza Strip on Wednesday indicated that the Israeli military had targeted the home of Mohammed Deif, the leader of Hamas' armed wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, in an airstrike, the AP said.
Israel has not formally commented on the strike. However, Israeli officials speaking to Israeli Army Radio confirmed that Deif would be a logical target.
"If there was intelligence information that Mohammed Deif was not at home then the house would not have been blown up," the former director of Israel's security service, Yaakov Peri, told Israeli Army Radio, according to the Associated Press news agency.
Israel's interior minister, Gideon Saar, reportedly chose harsher words to express Israel's view of the Hamas leader.
"Mohamed Deif deserves to die just like (Osama) bin Laden. He is an arch murderer and as long as we have an opportunity we will try to kill him," Saar said, according to the news agency AFP, which also cited Israeli army radio.
A woman and child were killed in a Gaza City airstrike on Tuesday night, with speculation circulating through the media that they were Deif's wife and child.
The renewed fighting after failed Egyptian-brokered negotiations has raised fears of a new escalation in the conflict which has already claimed over 2,000 lives, the vast majority of which were Palestinian.
The Israeli government has faced international criticism over its military offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.