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TEL AVIV — A sniper opened fire on Israeli troops near Gaza, officials said Wednesday, prompting an immediate response from Israeli aircraft and troops. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told NBC News that one of the group's high-ranking commanders, Taiseer Samiri, was killed in the subsequent crossfire, while the IDF said one of its soldiers suffered a severe chest injury and was evacuated to a hospital.
Israel's military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said in a statement that the sniper attack was "a lethal violation of the relative quiet along the Gaza border and is a blatant breach of Israel's sovereignty" and that Israeli air and ground forces "targeted Hamas positions in the immediate vicinity of the attack." He said farmers in border communities had been told to "leave the area for their own safety," adding on Twitter that the sniper attack was an "outrageous act of aggression."