GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) – A commander of the militant Popular Resistance Committees was killed on Friday in Gaza City, hospital officials said, and witnesses said he died in an Israeli air strike on his car.
Hospital officials identified the commander as Abu Yousef Abu Quka. The white Subaru in which he was driving was reduced to a hunk of twisted, charred metal. Hundreds of people gathered around the burning vehicle after the attack.
The Israeli military, which has killed dozens of militant leaders, had no immediate comment.
Israel Radio reported that Abu Quka was a senior Popular Resistance Committees commander in northern Gaza who oversaw numerous rocket attacks on Israel.
Israel has vowed to strike back hard against militant attacks. Israeli aircraft struck 15 sites over the past day in response to Palestinian rocket fire at southern Israel. The killing of the commander was part of a wider spiral of violence that has escalated in the area. On Thursday evening, another Palestinian militant group killed four Israelis in a suicide bombing in the West Bank.