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Israel will ‘pay the price,’ Hamas warns after killing of PIJ terrorists

Khalil Bahitini, Jahed Ahnam and Tarek Azaldin were preparing to leave for Cairo when the Israel Air Force struck them.

Thousands of Palestinians attend a rally in Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip, marking the 34th anniversary of the Hamas Islamic movement, Dec. 10, 2021. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90.
Thousands of Palestinians attend a rally in Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip, marking the 34th anniversary of the Hamas Islamic movement, Dec. 10, 2021. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90.

Hamas threatened retaliation on Tuesday for the targeted killing of three senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commanders in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian sources told the Al-Quds daily that Khalil Bahitini, Jahed Ahnam and Tarek Azaldin were preparing for a trip when they were hit by the Israeli strikes.

They were slated to hold meetings in Cairo and then continue to travel abroad.

The Israel Defense Forces killed the three men early on Tuesday morning, following a month of intermittent confrontations with terrorists in the Palestinian enclave.

Bahitini was PIJ’s commander in northern Gaza; Jahed Ahnam, a senior member of the terror group’s “military” council; and Tarek Azaldin directed its activities in Judea and Samaria.

The trio had apparently been careful to stay in hiding but were targeted when before leaving for Egypt they traveled to see their families and say goodbye.

Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, said the operation will not bring Israel more security, but rather more violence.

“The enemy made a mistake in its estimations and will pay the price for its crime,” he said.

Haniyeh also added that the “resistance is unified,” suggesting that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad might join forces.

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