10 Palestinian militants, Israeli commando killed after botched military operation

https://abcnews.go.com/International/hamas-fighters-israeli-commando-killed-gaza-botched-israeli/story?id=59137906

Seven Palestinians and an Israeli commando were killed when an Israeli special forces operation that appeared to go terribly wrong in the Gaza strip Sunday night.

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After hours of calm, a barrage of rockets was fired from Gaza into Israel on Monday afternoon.

The Israeli military says 200 launches were sent toward Israel, and the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted at least 60. The others landed in open areas, according to the military.

The Israeli Air Force launched more than 20 airstrikes against targets throughout Gaza.

PHOTO: A picture taken from the Gaza Strip on Nov. 12, 2018 shows missiles being launched toward Israel.Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images
A picture taken from the Gaza Strip on Nov. 12, 2018 shows missiles being launched toward Israel.

At least seven Israelis were injured in the afternoon rocket fire, and the Palestinian Red Crescent says Israeli airstrikes killed three more Palestinian fighters inside Gaza.

The Israeli military said rockets hit multiple homes, and a bus that was driving close to the border in Israel.

Among the Palestinians who were killed was a Hamas military leader.

Following the incident, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu abruptly interrupted his trip to Paris, where he joined more than 60 world leaders to commemorate Armistice Day, and rushed back to Tel Aviv overnight.

PHOTO: Israels Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrive at the Elysee Palace for a luncheon hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron after the centenary ceremony of the 1918 army at the Arc de Triomphe, Nov. 11, 2018 in Paris.Thibaud Moritz/ABACA via Newscom
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrive at the Elysee Palace for a luncheon hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron after the centenary ceremony of the 1918 army at the Arc de Triomphe, Nov. 11, 2018 in Paris.

Hamas says the Israelis launched an assassination operation two miles inside the Gaza Strip. But the Israeli military says it was an intelligence-gathering operation gone wrong.

The Israeli military chief, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, said a “special force” carried out “a very meaningful operation to Israel’s security.”

In a statement, Hamas says it all started when a plain-clothes Israeli special forces unit in a civilian car killed Nour Barakeh, 37, a mid-level commander in the Hamas military wing, Izzedine al-Qassam, in Khan Younis.

PHOTO: A map shows the locations of an Israel raid late on Sunday and a bus hit by a mortar fired from Gaza on Monday.AP
A map shows the locations of an Israel raid late on Sunday and a bus hit by a mortar fired from Gaza on Monday.

Hamas said the Israeli team was stopped at a checkpoint. The Israeli military said “an exchange of fire broke out, during which an IDF officer was killed and an additional IDF officer was moderately injured.”

Both Hamas and the Israeli military agree that Hamas militants fought back and that the Israeli operatives were exposed. As they retreated toward Israel, the Israeli air force pounded the area, both governments say.

Hamas said six other Hamas fighters were killed and the Palestinian Health Ministry says seven additional people were injured.

The Palestinian funerals were held Monday afternoon.

PHOTO: Israeli security forces and firefighters gather near a building set ablaze after it was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in the southern Israeli town of Sderot on Nov. 12, 2018.Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images
Israeli security forces and firefighters gather near a building set ablaze after it was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in the southern Israeli town of Sderot on Nov. 12, 2018.

The Israeli military says the commando, whom they only identified as Lt. Col. M., was killed and another soldier was injured. Both were brought back to Israel, the military said.

In a rare clarification of its operation, a military spokesperson said, “The special operation yesterday was not intended to kill or abduct terrorists, but to strengthen Israeli security.”

It did not provide other details about the operation.

“The force waged a heroic and very complex battle,” the military added.

PHOTO: Mourners carry the body of Nour Baraka, a commander in the Islamist movement Hamas military wing and one of the Palestinians killed during an Israeli special forces operation in the Gaza Strip, during his funeral on Nov. 12, 2018, in Khan Younis.Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images
Mourners carry the body of Nour Baraka, a commander in the Islamist movement Hamas’ military wing and one of the Palestinians killed during an Israeli special forces operation in the Gaza Strip, during his funeral on Nov. 12, 2018, in Khan Younis.

The Israeli military says 17 rockets were launched from Gaza into Israel, and the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted at least three of them.

Sirens were heard in southern Israel overnight, and school is closed Monday in the communities surrounding Gaza.

The flare-up comes at a surprising time, with the Israeli prime minister overseas speaking specifically about avoiding “unnecessary war” with Gaza, but also as it appeared that Hamas and Israel moved closer to a ceasefire agreement.

On Friday, Israel allowed suitcases with $15 million of Qatari cash to enter Gaza to fund salaries of civil servants in Gaza. The cash came with vital fuel for a power plant, too.

PHOTO: Israeli security forces and firefighters gather near a bus set ablaze after it was hit by a rocket fired from the Palestinian enclave, at the Israel-Gaza border near the kibbutz of Kfar Aza, on Nov. 12, 2018.Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images
Israeli security forces and firefighters gather near a bus set ablaze after it was hit by a rocket fired from the Palestinian enclave, at the Israel-Gaza border near the kibbutz of Kfar Aza, on Nov. 12, 2018.

For the first time in years, some Gaza residents had eight hours of electricity, a rarity in the decade-long blockade.

Netanyahu described the move as “the right step.”

“We held serious discussions. It’s a question of alternatives,” Netanyahu said Saturday. “These things were done, under certain conditions, in order to prevent a humanitarian crisis.”

After arriving back in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu praised the Israeli commando for his service, tweeting, “Our forces acted courageously.”

ABC News’ Samy Zyara contributed reporting from Gaza.