Israeli aircraft kill senior Hamas figure

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hamas says one of its top figures has been killed in an Israeli airstrike.

This is the first time aircraft have targeted a senior member of Gaza's Hamas rulers since Israel launched a bruising offensive on the Palestinian territory on Saturday.

Hamas identified the dead man as Nizar Rayyan, who had close ties to the group's military wing. Medics says seven people were killed in the airstrike on Rayyan's house Thursday.

Israel's offensive is meant to halt militants' rocket fire on southern communities.

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