Israel kills five top Hamas commanders seen in rare photo
Gaza: Israel has killed five top Hamas commanders, including the head of Hamas’s aerial division, two battalion commanders, a brigade commander, and a deputy brigade commander, the New York Times reported citing the Israeli military.
The Israeli Defence Force released a rare photo of 11 senior Hamas military leaders on Tuesday and said that it has killed five of them.
The photo was taken while the Hamas commanders were hiding in an underground tunnel underneath a residential neighborhood near the Indonesian hospital in the northern Gaza city of Beit Lahia, the NYT report said.
Our forces continue to operate against Hamas’ leadership in Gaza:— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) December 6, 2023
🔴IDF forces eliminated several Hamas commanders and operatives of the Northern Gaza Strip Brigade—the second largest brigade of Hamas—who were hiding in a tunnel located near the Indonesian Hospital during the… pic.twitter.com/mydADVsJaX
An Israeli intelligence division examined the photograph following its seizure in Gaza but did not disclose the identity of the photographer.
However, the photograph’s precise date and location, could not be independently confirmed, the report said.
“Hamas wanted to tear us apart; we are tearing it apart,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday, after meeting with the families of Israeli hostages still held in Gaza.
Netanyahu said in line with its current strategy, Israel has killed “about half of Hamas’s battalion commanders.”
The image released by Israel shows Hamas leaders sitting on a long, low table with a variety of foods, fruits and drinks inside the tunnel, which is one of the hundreds Hamas has built to hide and transport weapons, fighters and materiel.
Israel has been involved in intense fighting with Hamas, after the group carried out a massive surprise rocket attack in southern Israel on October 7, resulting in 1,200 casualties in the country and the capture of around 240 people.
The killings of the top commanders inflict major damage on Hamas amid an all-out counter-offensive that has flattened construction parts of northern Gaza, displaced what the United Nations says is more than 90 percent of the population, and killed more than 15,500 people, according to the Gazan Health Ministry.
So far, about 400 Israeli soldiers have died in fighting since October 7, according to the Israeli military.
On Wednesday, Netanyahu said in a video posted on the X platform: “Our forces are encircling Sinwar’s house. He can escape, but it is only a matter of time until we reach him.”
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