Above is the video, according to the Israeli Defense Forces, of its airstrike Wednesday on Gaza-based Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari. The strike was the beginning of an Israeli operation the country is calling Pillar of Defense, which it has warned could include a ground assault "if necessary."

The Post's Karen Brulliard reports from Jerusalem on the strike:

Jabari, deputy commander of Hamas’s military wing, is the most senior Hamas official to be assassinated since Israel’s devastating offensive against Gaza nearly four years ago. That offensive, too, was described by Israel as an attempt to stop rocket fire from the coastal strip.

Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, told reporters Wednesday that an Israeli jet had targeted a vehicle carrying Jabari, whom she said had been involved in several terror attacks inside Israel and had “a lot of blood on his hands.” Jabari had long been at the top of Israel’s most-wanted list.

Leibovich would provide no details about the projected length, scale or methods of the offensive. “This is the beginning of an operation,” she said.

In Gaza, mosques were filled with men mourning Jabari and vowing revenge. Hamas officials said they would strike back.