The military said today that an airstrike in southern Gaza had killed Bilal al Kedra, who they believe was behind the devastating Kibbutz Nirim and Nir Oz mass killings last weekend.
In a statement the IDF said that ‘as part of the extensive IDF strikes of senior operatives and terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip the IDF and ISA killed the Nukhba commander of the forces in southern Khan Yunis, who was responsible for the Kibbutz Nirim massacre’.
Israel said it struck more than 100 military targets overnight, including command centres and rocket launchers, in preparations for the ground incursions.
The Gaza Health Ministry said 2,329 Palestinians have been killed since the fighting erupted.
The US announced overnight that it would send a second carrier group to the eastern Mediterranean to act as a deterrence as the possibility of the conflict broadening into regional war increases.
Israeli troops have claimed to have killed Bilal al Kedra, a Hamas commander who was the mastermind behind the kibbutz massacres
The military said today that an airstrike in southern Gaza had killed Bilal al Kedra, who they believe was behind the devastating Kibbutz Nirim and Nir Oz mass killings last weekend
In a statement the IDF said that ‘as part of the extensive IDF strikes of senior operatives and terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip’ they had killed the commander and other Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives
A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces told CNN that the top priority in the military operation is to rescue the hostages, who are ‘most likely’ being held underground in an ‘elaborate network of tunnels’.
Since the Hamas incursion, the bloodiest single day in Israel’s 75-year history, the Israeli military says it has mobilized 360,000 reservists.
More than 1,300 Israelis have been killed, the vast majority of them civilians killed in Hamas’s initial assault on October 7.
Yesterday, two top Hamas commanders who led the terror group’s murderous rampage against Israel were killed in airstrikes.
Murad Abu Murad, who is believed to have masterminded the deadly paraglider assault by Hamas gunmen last weekend, was killed by a bomb targeting the headquarters of the terror group’s air activities.
Meanwhile, Ali Qadhi, a commander in the ruthless ‘Nukhba’ commando unit, was killed in a drone strike.
Officials revealed a black-and-white video of a massive explosion engulfing a Hamas base where he was said to be located.
The elimination of two of Hamas’s most senior leaders is a boost to the Israeli government’s vow to wipe the terror group ‘off the face of the Earth’.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week declared: ‘Every Hamas terrorist is a dead man.’
Since then, Israel’s defence forces have prioritised strikes on Hamas commanders and officials as well as its intelligence and financial infrastructure within Gaza ahead of an expected ground invasion.
According to the Israeli security forces, Murad Abu Murad ‘took a big part in directing terrorists during the massacre’ last weekend, which began with a barrage of missiles before gunmen flew into Israel on paragliders just after dawn.
Hamas left a trail of devastation at a series of kibbutzes near the border with Gaza, including children’s beds soaked in blood
An Israeli soldier breaks down in tears at the sight of a family dining table on which there is still Challah bread from Friday’s Kiddush at the Kfar Aza kibbutz. Hamas terrorists massacred families here on Saturday
Confirming the strike against him on X, formerly Twitter, the Israeli Air Force said: ‘During the last day, fighter jets of the air force attacked the operational headquarters of the terrorist organisation Hamas, from where the organisation’s aerial activities were managed.
‘During the attack, Murad Abu Murad, the head of the air formation in Gaza City who took a large part and directed terrorists in the murderous attack on Saturday, was killed.’
Ali Qadhi was a notorious terrorist who was arrested by Israel in 2005 for being part of a Hamas cell which kidnapped and murdered Israeli civilian Sasson Nouriel.
Nouriel was filmed by his captors reciting a message confirming his kidnapping by Hamas and requesting the release of multiple Palestinian convicts.
He was later taken to a landfill site and stabbed to death. Despite the horrific crime, Ali Qadhi was released in 2011 and deported to the Gaza Strip as part of a controversial prisoner exchange.
He was one of 1,027 mainly Palestinian and Arab-Israeli prisoners exchanged for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier kidnapped and held captive for five years.
Israel’s air force announced that Ali Qadhi was eliminated with the help of intelligence agency Shin Bet. The Israel Air Force said terrorist operatives from Ali Qadhi’s Nukhba unit ‘were one of the leading forces that led the infiltration into Israel last Saturday’.
Now, Israeli troops are hunting a Hamas commander described as Palestine’s Osama bin Laden, vowing to find him wherever he was hiding and insisting his days were numbered.
Yahya Sinwar, 60, is the current head of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
He has been arrested by Israel multiple times and spent 24 years in Israeli prisons: he was freed in 2011, as part of a prisoner swap in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
The death toll has topped 1,000 in Israel as the country plots a bloody revenge on the people of Gaza
Yahya Sinwar is pictured in April 2022 speaking at a meeting in Gaza City. He has been described as the mastermind of the October 7 terror attack
Sinwar is being held responsible for the murder of 1,300 Israelis in the October 7 attack. The U.S. death toll rose to 29 on Saturday, with 15 missing, believed to be held hostage inside Gaza.
‘Yahya Sinwar is the face of evil,’ said Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, a spokesman for the IDF.
‘He is the mastermind behind this, like bin Laden was.
‘He built his career on murdering Palestinians when he understood they were collaborators. That’s how he became known as the butcher of Khan Younis [in southern Gaza].’
Hecht said that Israeli troops would not rest until he was found and killed.
‘That man and his whole team are in our sights. We will get to that man,’ he said, adding: ‘This could be long.’
Sinwar was designated a terrorist by the United States in 2015.
Hecht spoke as the Israel Air Force killed Merad Abu Merad, Hamas’s head of aerial activity, in Gaza City.
The Israel Air Force also struck dozens of members and facilities of Hamas’s Nuhba elite terrorist commando unit that were involved in the assault.
On Saturday, Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh met with Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in Qatar.
Iran is a supporter of Hamas, but its direct involvement in the terror attack remains disputed.
It does not exercise the same operational control over Hamas as it does over Hezbollah, based in Lebanon.