Israel Launches Series of Airstrikes, Kills Hamas Chief's Wife and Son

Just hours after rockets fired from Gaza broke Israelis' and Palestinians' cease-fire agreement, the Israeli military has claimed to have killed the wife and young son of Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif in a torrent of airstrikes on Gaza. Reuters is reporting Israel has launched 60 airstrikes on Gaza and Hamas has fired more than 80 rocket salvoes since yesterday.

Dief is believed to be coordinating Hamas' attacks from underground bunkers, and per the New York Times, "is considered to be the designer of Hamas' signature Qassam rockets." According to the BBC's Kevin Connolly, who's on the ground in Jerusalem, Israel's targeting of Deif "may explain the intensity of the rocket fire:"

Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Saar said the attack was justified because Mohammed Deif was "personally responsible" for dozens of deaths.

Yaakov Perry, Israel's science minister and former security service chief, said he was "convinced that if there was intelligence that Mohammed Deif was not inside the home, then we would not have bombed it".

Initial reports said the body of a third person was pulled from the rubble, but medics later said only two people had died.

Dief's whereabouts remain unknown.

Talks being held between Israel and Palestinians in Cairo fell apart Tuesday, with both delegations walking out. "Israel thwarted the contacts that could have brought peace," Palestinian negotiator Azzam al-Ahmed said.

"The Cairo process was built on a total and complete cessation of all hostilities and so when rockets were fired from Gaza, not only was it a clear violation of the ceasefire but it also destroyed the premise upon which the talks were based," Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told Reuters.

[Image via AP]