The Palestinian group Hamas has confirmed that an Israeli air strike has killed the head of its military wing.
Ahmed Al-Jaabari, died along with a passenger after their car was hit by a missile on Wednesday while travelling in Gaza city.
He becomes the most senior official of the Islamist faction to be killed since an Israeli invasion of Gaza four years ago.
Following the assassination immediate calls for revenge were broadcast over Hamas Radio, and the two sides could be on the brink of a new war.
The attack comes despite signs that Egypt had managed to broker a truce following a five day surge of violence which saw 100 missiles fired by Palestinian militants to which Israel responded.
Israel’s Shin Bet domestic intelligence service said it had carried out the attack due to what it called Jaabari’s “decade-long terrorist activity”
It said it hoped to “severely impair the command and control of the Hamas leadership.”