The IDF and the Shin Bet domestic security service said Wednesday that 16 high-ranking members of the Hamas terror group, including a senior commander and weapons developers, had been killed in Israeli targeted attacks on Gaza City and Khan Yunis.
The dead were members of the Hamas high command and close associates of Mohammed Deif, head of the terror group’s military wing who has himself survived numerous Israeli attempts on his life.
According to the Shin Bet, the casualties included Bassim Issa, veteran Hamas brigade commander for Gaza City; Jomaa Tahla, the Hamas cyber and missile technology chief and 13 members of the group’s weapons manufacturing staff.
Israeli military officials called the killings a groundbreaking, complex operation whose details were yet to be revealed.
Palestinian sources confirmed an Israeli attack on a vehicle in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, saying at least one of the occupants had been killed.
The Israeli attacks were swiftly followed by a barrage of some 50 rockets fired from Gaza at the southern cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod and their environs.
Israeli media quoted military sources as saying that they expected further rocket fire on central Israel as a result of the killings.
Also Wednesday, the IDF attacked Hamas and Islamic Jihad weapon production sites in the northern Strip that were located inside civilian areas.
“The IDF is taking every precaution to avoid harm to civilians and their property but will continue to operate in Gaza as long as is necessary,” the military said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said while visiting Wolfson Medical Center in Holon that the targeted killing of Hamas top officials was “only the beginning.” Continue Reading….