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'This is just the beginning': Netanyahu on Hamas

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Israel's Shin Bet security service said the brigade commander for Gaza City was among senior members of the Islamist militant group Hamas who had been killed.

At the same time, Palestinian militants rained rockets into Israel as global concern mounted over their most intense hostilities in years.

"This is just the beginning. We'll hit them like they've never dreamed possible," Netanyahu said during a visit to an Israeli hospital.

Soon after the announcement, a new rocket barrage was fired at the Israeli city of Ashdod and Israeli media said the military was preparing for new salvoes on the Tel Aviv area.

Hamas confirmed the commander's death and the loss of "other leaders and warriors" and said in a statement: "Thousands of leaders and soldiers will follow in their footsteps."

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