A recent Israeli airstrike resulted in the death of a high-ranking Hamas leader, as confirmed by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) on Sunday, according to a report by the Times of Israel. The IDF’s operation, backed by intelligence efforts from the Shin Bet security agency and Military Intelligence Directorate, targeted Billal al-Qedra, the commander of the Nukhba unit’s southern Khan Younis battalion, known for his involvement in several deadly assaults, including the recent attacks on the communities of Nirim and Nir Oz in the southern region, the Times of Israel revealed.
In response to the airstrike, the IDF stated that multiple Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives were also neutralized during overnight airstrikes in the Gaza Strip. According to the Times of Israel, the IDF carried out a significant operation targeting more than 100 sites, including Hamas command centers, military compounds, rocket launchers, anti-tank missile launch posts, and observation posts, as well as Islamic Jihad command centers.
The IDF shared on X (formerly Twitter), “IDF warplanes, under the intelligence guidance of the Shin Bet, killed last night in the Gaza Strip, Bilal al-Kedra, the commander of the Nakhaba force in the South Khan Yunis battalion of the terrorist organization Hamas, who was responsible for the murderous raid on Kibbutz Nirim and Nir Oz. In addition, other operatives in the terrorist organization Hamas as well as in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad were eliminated.”
Prior to this development, the IDF had also eliminated another prominent Hamas commander, Ali Qadi, who was implicated in the brutal October 7 attack on Israeli civilians, according to the report by The Times of Israel. Expressing determination, the IDF asserted, “All Hamas terrorists will meet the same fate.”
As tensions escalated, the IDF accused Hamas of hindering the evacuation of civilians in the Gaza Strip ahead of potential Israeli ground operations following the deadly assaults on October 7. Consequently, Israeli soldiers, alongside tanks and ammunition, were deployed near the Gaza border, and residents of the Northern Gaza Strip were urged to relocate to the southern part of the enclave using designated evacuation corridors between 10 am and 4 pm (local time), The Times of Israel noted.
In a video message, IDF International Spokesperson, Lt Col Richard Hecht, urged the people of Gaza to move to the southern region for their safety, emphasizing the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. The recent aggressive acts on October 7, where Hamas launched a sudden barrage of rockets into southern and central parts of Israel, have resulted in a devastating toll, with over 1300 fatalities and more than 3000 injuries, as well as reports of over 120 civilians being held captive by the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza, the IDF confirmed.
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