Hamas says a brigade commander and three other military leaders have been killed.

Hamas says a brigade commander and three other military leaders have been killed.

Hamas’ military wing announced on Sunday that Northern Brigade Commander Ahmed al-Ghandour and three other senior officials were killed during an Israeli offensive against the Islamist movement.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement that Ghandour was a member of the military council, and others killed, including Ayman Sheyyam, who Israeli media reported was the head of a Hamas rocket-launching unit. He named three leaders.

The newspaper said Ghandour was a top Hamas commander, headed the northern Gaza brigade and was a member of the military council.

“We pledge to Allah that we will continue on their path and that their blood will be a light for the Mujahideen and a fire for the occupiers,” the statement said, but did not specify when they were killed. Didn’t mention it.

A senior Israeli military official said last week that troops had killed “more than 50” Hamas commanders and caused “significant” damage to the capacity of the military, which estimates it has about 24,000 fighters. .

Ghandour reportedly spent two years in an Israeli prison and lost two of his sons in Israeli airstrikes during the current war.

Troops reportedly destroyed his home over his role in firing rockets into Israel during the 2014 war, and a year later an Israeli NGO filed charges against him for war crimes during the conflict.

Ghandour (officially known as Abu Anas) was blacklisted by the United States as a “global terrorist” in 2017.

The State Department said he was a member of Hamas’s Politburo at the time and a former member of the Shura Council, an extremist group that brought together leaders from Gaza, the West Bank and abroad.

The newspaper said he had been involved in “a number of terrorist operations,” including a 2006 attack on an Israeli military post at the Kerem Shalom border crossing that killed two soldiers and injured four others. Stated.

The attack resulted in the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Shalit was held by Hamas for five years before being released in 2011 in exchange for 1,027 other Palestinian prisoners.

– “Significant damage” –
The war in Gaza began on October 7 when Hamas militants stormed into southern Israel, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping about 240 people, according to an Israeli tally.

Israel has responded with a massive military operation that Gaza’s Hamas rulers claim has killed nearly 15,000 people, also mostly civilians.

A senior Israeli military official said the troops inflicted significant damage on Hamas’ fighting force, which consists of 24 battalions of 1,000 militants each, particularly in the north.

“In some (battalions) we eliminated several hundred Hamas terrorists and most of the battalion commanders,” he said.

“This harm is significant and destroys not only Hamas’s immediate combat capabilities, but also its ability to recover post-war military strength.”

He did not say how many militants had been killed, but said it was in the thousands, “not 10,000, not 1,000, but somewhere in between.”

Hamas’s announcement on Sunday came on the third day of a four-day cessation of fighting, during which Hamas returned 26 Israeli hostages (all women and children) in two batches, as well as foreigners (mostly Thai). ) 15 people were returned.

In exchange for the Israeli hostages, Israel released 78 Palestinian prisoners, all of them women and teenagers.

Source: guardian.ng

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