Airstrikes Target Hamas, 'the Enemies of Peace'

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israel says it has killed two senior Hamas military leaders in its Gaza targeting campaign.

The two were on Israel's hit list for a number of kidnappings and bombings, including the capture of former IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

For a second night, Israel launched targeted airstrikes to make Hamas leadership pay a high price for breaking a ceasefire with more rocket attacks.

And Hamas is paying a steep price.

The two commanders, Mohammed Abu Smalla and Ra'ad Atar, helped plan deadly attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians, including Shalit's kidnapping in 2006.

Hamas claims the top terrorist on Israel's list, rocket supervisor Mohammed Deif, escaped an Israeli airstrike that killed members of his family.

"This message is directed to the Zionist enemy," Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida warned. "Mohammed Deif will be the commander in chief of the army that will enter the holy Aqsa mosque [on the Temple Mount] in Jerusalem."

Israel said it is uncertain whether Deif is still alive.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, aware of the impact of atrocities committed by ISIS in Iraq, linked the terrorists with Hamas.

"Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas. They're the enemies of peace. They're the enemies of Israel. They're the enemies of all civilized countries. And I believe they're the enemies of the Palestinians themselves," Netanyahu said. "And I'm not the only one who believes that."

Despite continued calls in the United Nations for a return to talks in Egypt, the fighting in Gaza rages on and Hamas losses are building by the day.

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John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

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