Hamas' military wing announced the successor to slain commander, Ahmed Jabari, on Thursday, and promised many deadly surprises for Israel.
The new commander of Hamas' Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades is Marwan Abed al-Khareem Issa, 48, a native Gazan from Jabaliyya. Issa served as Jabari's deputy for years, and commanded special units in Islamic Jihad's military wing.
Hamas took responsibility for the deadly rocket attack in Kiryat Malachi that killed three Thursday and Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum warned, "Hamas has capabilities that will surprise Israel. We have the ability to carry out accurate attacks deeper into Israel." Barhoum claimed that Hamas refused Israel's request for a cease-fire, and that Hamas "has the power strike the enemy's cities."
In a televised speech on Hamas' official TV station, faction leader Ismail Haniyeh warned that "After firing at Tel Aviv, Hamas has yet to show its full force ... in 2009 we held our ground until the enemy begged for a cease-fire. Our strength comes from Islam and we will show our ability to endure this time as well."
Despite the ongoing violence and repeated attacks on Gaza over 1,000 people marched in Jabari's funeral on Thursday. Mourners called for revenge while some armed men fired their machine guns into the air.
Jabari's body, draped in white fabric smeared with his blood, was carried by activists on a stretcher through the main street of Gaza toward the main mosque where worshippers prayed for his soul before walking him to burial in the martyrs' cemetery.
"You won," cried a Hamas activist into a loudspeaker. "Three Zionists were killed today [in Kiryat Malachi] and yet what is coming will be greater," the activist added.
Palestinian media outlets reported 15 killed in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, ten civilians and five armed terrorists belonging to Hamas' military wing.