It said the three commanders were killed during an Israeli air strike on a house in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah.

The Brigades identified the commanders as Mohammed Abu Shamallah, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhoum.

Four other people were also killed in the air strike, medical sources said. It is the first time the al-Qassam Brigades has announced the death of any of its leaders since Israel stepped up a military operation in Gaza on July 8.

The killing of the three commanders came two days after Israel failed to kill the chief of the Brigades in an air strike that left his wife and son dead.

More than 2,000 Palestinians were killed and 10,000 injured since the Israeli offensive, dubbed Operation Protective Edge, started; 68 Israelis, including 64 soldiers, also died in the hostilities.

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