Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, said on Tuesday that Israel had targeted senior Hamas members from the Northern Gaza and Gaza City Brigades inside Hamas terror tunnels and succeeded in eliminating most of them during combat.
The tunnel in which the commanders were hiding was located under civilian homes and close to the Indonesian Hospital. The IDF killed the Northern Gaza Strip Brigade Commander Ahmed Ehandor and Deputy Brigade Commander Al Rajab, the commander of the support battalion, the head of the Electronic Warfare unit, and the surveillance officer, among other senior members.
Shin Bet and Israel’s military intelligence unit helped locate the whereabouts of the commanders.
The Northern Gaza Strip Brigade is Hamas’ second largest brigade. Ehandor was the director and manager of all of Hamas’ terrorist activities in northern Gaza and a member of the military wing’s executive council.
The commanders of two battalions, the Beit Lahia Battalion and the Jabaliya Battalion, were also eliminated by Israeli forces, substantially harming the Northern Gaza Brigade’s ability to operate in further combat.
In addition, the IDF, guided by the Shin Bet and military intelligence, eliminated four battalion commanders in the Gaza City Brigade, including the commanders of the Sabra, Shati, Daraj Tafah, and Shaja'iya battalions. The Gaza City Brigade is the largest of Hamas’ terrorist brigades.
Other commanders in the central command chain of the battalion were killed and the battalion’s infrastructure and headquarters were destroyed.
In the sector of Gaza belonging to the Shati Battalion, IDF troops gained control of key strongholds.
The Shati Battalion was in charge of central Hamas command posts, including the command center located under Al-Shifa Hospital. That command center was destroyed and Hamas brigade's anti-tank head, in charge of air intelligence, and the naval formation officer were eliminated.
Gaza City is home to several Hamas military bases, and also houses weapons manufacturing sites and weapon storage facilities next to the civilian infrastructure of the city, making it one of the proven examples of Hamas war crimes by using its own civilian population as human shields.
In 2021, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar admitted that Hamas was using human shields.
“The issue of military headquarters embedded in civilian populations posed a huge problem during the previous rounds of fire,” Sinwar said at the time. “We and other factions have initiated a gradual transfer operation with the aim of relocating a number of military headquarters from within the civilian population.”
Using civilians as human shields is a common Hamas tactic and is meant to ensure that maximum pressure from the international community is applied upon Israel to agree to a ceasefire, especially when Gazan civilians do not heed the IDF's instructions to relocate to safe areas. As a result, many civilian lives are lost due to their proximity to Hamas military installations.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.