Adel Hana / AP
Columns of smoke rise following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, on Nov. 14. Palestinian witnesses say Israeli airstrikes have hit a series of targets across Gaza City, shortly after the assassination of the top Hamas commander. Hamas security officials say two Hamas training facilities were among the targets in the Wednesday afternoon bombings.
Palestinians help extinguish a fire after an Israeli air strike on the car of Hamas's top commander in Gaza City, on Nov. 14. Ahmed Al-Jaabari, Hamas's military chief, was killed when his car was hit by an Israeli airstrike.
Tsafrir Abayov / AP
Israeli soldiers and civilians run to a rocket shelter as a siren sounds signaling an attack coming from the nearby Gaza Strip in Neva settlement, near the Israel-Egypt border, on Nov. 14.
Nir Elias / Reuters
Two sides exchange deadly airstrikes, rocket attacks.
NBC News -- The head of the militant wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement and seven others were killed as Israel launched a series of airstrikes in Gaza Wednesday, officials said.
Hamas spokesman Fauazy Brehom told NBC News that Ahmed Jabari was killed in the attack by Israeli forces. Jabari was the most senior commander of Hamas' military wing, the Ezzidine Al-Qassam Brigades.
A statement from the Al-Qassam Brigades said that Israel had “opened the gates of hell.”
In a frequently updated live blog chronicling the attacks, the Israel Defense Forces claimed it had targeted "dozens" of Hamas’ medium-range underground rocket launch sites and other weapons storage facilities. The report said Israel had also intercepted 17 rockets fired from Gaza.
"If I were a senior Hamas activist - I would look for a place to hide," IDF spokesman Brgi. Gen. Yoav (Poly) Moredechai said in a statement published online.
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- Israel warns of tough response after Gaza rocket hits house
- Violence erupts in Gaza, Israel after Qatari leader's visit
EDITOR'S NOTE: On March 13, 2013 a report by the U.N. office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights indicates that the child depicted in the photo below was killed by what appeared to be a Palestinian rocket that fell short of Israel, not an Israeli air strike as originally reported.
Darren Whiteside / Reuters
Smoke rises after Israeli air strikes in the northern Gaza Strip, on Nov. 14. Israel launched a major offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza on Wednesday, killing the military commander of Hamas in an air strike and threatening an invasion of the enclave that the Islamist group vowed would "open the gates of hell".
Majed Hamdan / AP
Jihad Masharawi weeps while he holds the body of his 11-month old son Ahmad, at Shifa hospital following an Israeli air strike on their family house, in Gaza City, on Nov. 14. The Israeli military said its assassination of the Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari, marks the beginning of an operation against Gaza militants.
** See EDITOR'S NOTE above
Ali Hassan / Reuters
Palestinians help to evacuate a woman following Israeli air strikes in Gaza City, on Nov. 14. Israel launched a major offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza on Wednesday, killing the military commander of Hamas in an air strike and threatening an invasion of the enclave that the Islamist group vowed would "open the gates of hell".
Mohammed Salem / Reuters
A wounded Palestinian girl cries as she sits on a hospital bed after an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, on Nov. 14. Israel killed the military commander of the Islamist group Hamas in a missile strike on the Gaza Strip on Wednesday and launched air raids across the enclave, pushing the two sides to the brink of a new war. Hamas said Ahmed Al-Jaabari, who ran the organisation's armed wing, Izz el-Deen Al-Qassam, died along with an unnamed associate when their car was blown apart by an Israeli missile. Palestinians said nine people were killed, including a seven-year-old girl.
Mohammed Saber / EPA
A Palestinian passes by a destroyed Hamas site after an Israeli air strike hit an area south of Gaza City on, Nov. 14. Hamas says the head of its military wing has been killed in an Israeli air strike. Israel said it had targeted Ahmed al-Jabari because of what it called his decade-long terrorist activity.
Said Khatib / AFP - Getty Images
A rocket is launched from Rafah, in the southern Gaza strip towards Israel, on Nov. 14. Israel killed a top Hamas military commander in a targeted air strike in Gaza, prompting outrage from Palestinian militants who said the Jewish state had opened "the gates of hell."
Uriel Sinai / Getty Images
Israelis watch Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu on television in a bomb shelter on Nov. 14, in Netivot, Israel. Israel Defense Forces launched aerial attacks on targets in Gaza that killed the top military commander of Hamas.
Uriel Sinai / Getty Images
Israeli children play games at a bomb shelter on Nov. 14 in Netivot, Israel. Israel Defense Forces launched aerial attacks on targets in Gaza that killed the top military commander of Hamas.
Ahmed Al-Jaabari, commander of the military wing of Hamas has been killed by an Israeli airstrike. Dozens of targets were hit in Gaza in the most intense attack since an Israeli offensive 4 years ago. NBC's John Ray reports.