Jerusalem: Israel assassinated three senior Hamas military commanders in a pre-dawn strike on Gaza Thursday.
The Islamist movement`s military wing said their deaths would not weaken it but Israel said two of the three were among its five most wanted.=
Following are the Israeli allegations against the trio:
Mohammed Abu Shamala
Born in 1974
The top Hamas operative in the southern Gaza Strip. Described as a veteran member of the organisation`s military leadership whose career dated back to the early 1990s.
Orchestrated the infiltration of 13 Hamas fighters through an attack tunnel into Israeli territory near the Sufa crossing on July 17. Israel thwarted the raid, killing one while the others escaped back into Gaza.
Directly involved in multiple deadly attacks, including a strike on an Israeli army post in 2004 that killed six soldiers and wounded more than 10.
In 2006, he was directly involved in an attack at the southern Kerem Shalom crossing which led to the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and the deaths of two other soldiers.
Born in 1974
A senior Hamas commander in the southern Gaza Strip, and head of the Rafah region.
Responsible for rocket attacks, bombings and infiltrations into Israel which led to the deaths of Israeli civilians and soldiers.
Directly involved in the capture of Shalit, who was held for five years before being released in 2011 in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
Orchestrated complex attacks, built attack tunnels to infiltrate Israel and planned attacks via Egypt`s Sinai Peninsula.
He smuggled weapons into Gaza, and recruited and armed fighters.
Born in 1969
Senior Hamas operative in Rafah responsible for smuggling weapons into Gaza from neighbouring Egypt.
Lived in Syria and Libya for several years in order to raise funds for Hamas and transfer them to the Gaza Strip.