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Israel killed one of Hamas's top leaders in Gaza, interior minister Said Siam, the most senior leader to have been killed in the 20-day-old war in the enclave, as U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon led international protests describing the Palestinian death toll as "unbearable".

"Leader Said Siam, his son and his brother fell as martyrs in Gaza," reported Al-Quds television, based in Beirut.

The three died in an Israeli air strike on the house of Siam's brother north of Gaza City.

Siam was in charge of 13,000 police and security men, many of whom are actively involved in fighting Israel. He founded the Executive Force, a Hamas security branch originally set up to rival Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's presidential guard.


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