JERUSALEM (VINnews) — The IDF announced Wednesday that in a joint operation with the Shin Bet, it had succeeded in carrying out a series of targeted killings in Gaza City and Khan Younis, eliminating a number of senior members of the Hamas General Staff, according to a Jerusalem Post report.
Among the dead were Bassem Issa, the head of the Gaza city brigade and Jamaa Tahla who served as head of Hamas’s cyber network and missile improvement project. Tahla worked with Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif and the Shin Bet said that eliminating him seriously impairs Hamas’s military capabilities.
Another senior commander killed in the strike was Gamal Zabda, the head of the group’s development and projects department who was the main initiator in Hamas’ rocket unit. Zabda, who held a PhD in mechanical engineering with a specialty in aerodynamics, was a significant source of rocket knowledge for Hamas. Khazem Khatib, the head of the engineering department in Hamas’s production division and served as deputy chief of staff was also killed.
In an earlier attack, the IDF eliminated two Hamas intelligence operatives who it said were responsible for rocket barrages into Israel: Hassan Kaogi, the head of Hamas’s military intelligence security wing, as well as his second-in-command, Wail Issa, the head of its intelligence counter-espionage wing.
Khan Younis Brigade commander Rafa Salama and Hamas intelligence chief Mohammed Yazouri were also eliminated by the IDF Wednesday
On Tuesday, the military killed two senior Islamic Jihad terrorists, striking a blow to the terror group’s rocket infrastructure. It also eliminated the head of the Hamas anti-tank missile unit Tuesday evening in an airstrike.
One of the terrorists was identified as Samah Abed al-Mamlouk. The IDF and Shin Bet said that Mamlouk, attacked in a hideout together with a number of additional Islamic Jihad operatives, was in charge of Islamic Jihad’s rocket arsenal.
In another strike, Hassan Abu al-Ata, deputy commander of Islamic Jihad’s Gaza Brigade, was also killed when the IDF struck an apartment in an eight-story building in Gaza’s Rimal neighborhood. He was the brother of Baha abu Al-Ata who was killed by Israel in 2019. Both brothers were known senior members of Islamic Jihad and were behind many of the group’s rocket attacks against Israel in recent years. Islamic Jihad said that the response to the killings of its operatives would be harsh.
The IDF warned residents of Gaza on Tuesday to stay away from any locations where Hamas weapons are stored for their own safety, saying there will be a “wide wave of attacks in the Gaza Strip.”
A joint ISA-IDF operation targeted senior members of the Hamas “General Staff Forum” including the Gaza City Brigade commander, the head of the cyber command and improving Hamas’s missiles and the head of its production network.
Following are the four senior commanders who were targeted in the attack:
1. Bassem Issa – Gaza City Brigade commander since 2017 and senior military official in the city. Over the years he had been involved in many terrorist attacks and also served as a leader in the organization’s production network. He led previous rounds of fighting with Israel. Targeting him will significantly affect the functioning of the brigade and of Hamas’s military arm.
2. Jamaa Tahla – Head of Hamas’s cyber command, leader of its missile improvement project and head of its R&D department. He was Muhammad Deif’s right-hand man a main leader of the effort to build up the organization’s strength; targeting him is a significant blow to that effort.
3. Jamal Zebeda – Head of projects and development for Hamas’s production network, was a main force behind the organization’s rocket production network. He held a Ph.D in mechanical engineering with a specialty in aerodynamics. He had various technological skills, was one of Hamas’s leading R&D experts and was also engaged in advancing projects to build up the organization’s strength.
4. Hazzem Hatib – Chief engineer and deputy head of Hamas’s production network.
Other senior figures who were killed in the attack during which Hamas’s main R&D facility, including much equipment, was destroyed:
Sami Radwan – Head of the military intelligence technical department
Walid Smali – Head of the production network industrial equipment department
Approximately ten additional terrorists from the Hamas production and R&D networks were also killed.
In this surrealistic video, the IDF contacts the guard of a Gaza tower, warning him that the tower was slated to be destroyed. The guard confirms that the IDF will warn beforehand and a few hours later the tower is destroyed.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Wednesday that “we attacked hundreds of targets, toppled buildings, destroyed factories and tunnels and eliminated commanders. All options and all means are on the table and there is much more action to be done. There are operational requirements in the border zone and we are dealing with them and protecting the residents in the south, even at a cost to our own forces.” [Gantz was referring to 21-year-old IDF soldier Omer Tabib, killed by an anti-tank missile on the Southern Border Wednesday. Two other soldiers were injured in the incident]
Gantz requested an extension of two weeks to emergency measures implemented by Home Command and added that “the IDF will continue to attack and bring total quiet for the long term. Only when we achieve this goal can we talk about letting up. At present there is no date for the completion of this operation. We will not accept moral criticisms from any organization or institution. It is our moral duty and right to protect the citizens of Israel.”