Israel has killed three senior Hamas commanders in an air strike on the Gaza Strip, a clear sign that Israel is intent on eliminating the group's military leadership.

Hamas named the men as Mohammed Abu Shammala, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhoum and said they were killed in the bombing of a house in Rafah.
The pre-dawn strike levelled a four-storey house in a densely populated neighbourhood, killing six people, including the three Hamas leaders.

The Israeli military and Shin Bet, the internal security service, confirmed that two of the men had been targeted. The trio had played a key role in expanding Hamas' military capabilities in recent years, including digging covert tunnels leading to Israel, training fighters and smuggling weapons to Gaza, Israel said.

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(L-R) Raed al-Attar, Mohammed Abu Shammala and Osama Abu Atah from Hamas are seen on February 27, 1999. An Israeli air strike killed three senior Hamas military commanders in the Gaza Strip on August 21, 2014. Hamas named the men as Mohammed Abu Shammala, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed BarhoumReuters
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Palestinians watch as rescue workers search for victims under the rubble of a house destroyed in an Israeli air strike that killed three senior Hamas military commanders in RafahReuters
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Palestinian rescue workers use an excavator to help remove the body of a man from under the rubble of a house in RafahReuters
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A Palestinian man inspects the wreckage of a car, which witnesses said was hit by the Israeli air strike that killed three senior Hamas military commanders in RafahReuters

As well as the Hamas commanders, Palestinian medics reported 19 other deaths on Thursday, including three children.

"Three children, aged 7, 8 and 11, were killed in an Israeli strike in eastern Gaza City," said a Gaza Health Ministry spokesman.

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Tarek al-Rifi, the father of one of the three children from the Al-Rifi family killed in an Israeli military strike, reacts at Gaza city's Al-Shifa hospitalAFP
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The grandfather of the Al-Rifi children cries outside a hospital morgue in Gaza CityReuters
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A Palestinian man mourns over the body of his relative, Rami Abu Nahel, killed in an Israeli military strike, at Gaza City's Al-Shifa hospitalAFP
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The relatives of an Islamic Jihad militant from the Abu Nada family, killed in an Israeli air strike, mourn at a hospital morgue in the northern Gaza StripReuters

Gaza militants resumed rocket fire on Israel as talks broke down on Tuesday, even before the formal end of a six-day truce at midnight that day.

Since then, Hamas and other groups have fired dozens more rockets, and Israeli aircraft have struck dozens of targets in Gaza, a sign that prospects for a resumption of the Cairo talks are slim.

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A picture taken from the Israeli side of the border shows rockets being fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza strip into IsraelAFP
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An Israeli firefighter extinguishes fire after rockets fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza strip hit a field near the southern Israeli city of SderotAFP
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Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike in GazaReuters