Category: World / November 14, 2012 2:37 PM EST
Amateur video obtained by Reuters on Wednesday (November 14) showed the immediate moments following an Israeli air strike which targeted and killed Hamas commander Ahmad al-Jaabari in Gaza.
The video showed the body of al-Jaabari being dragged out of the burning vehicle.
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.
The attacks marked the biggest escalation between Israel and Gaza militants since a 2008-2009 conflict and came despite signs on Tuesday that neighbouring Egypt had managed to broker a truce in the enclave after a five day surge of violence.
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.
Video from Gaza showed the charred and mangled wreckage of a car in flames, as emergency crews picked up what appeared to be body parts.
Israel confirmed it had carried out the attack on Jaabari and warned that more strikes would follow. Reuters witnesses reported numerous explosions around Gaza, with Hamas security compounds and police stations among the targets.
Israel's intelligence agency Shin Bet said Jaabari was responsible for Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, when the militant Islamist group ousted fighters of the Fatah movement of its great rival, the Western-backed Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.
It said Jaabari instigated the attack that led to the capture of Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit in a kidnap raid from Gaza in 2006. Jaabari was also the man who handed Shalit over to Israel in a prisoner exchange five years after his capture.