NewsUnderground tunnel raid by IDF claims lives of Hamas leaders

Underground tunnel raid by IDF claims lives of Hamas leaders

They have been hunting him for years. Ahmed Ghandour is dead.
They have been hunting him for years. Ahmed Ghandour is dead.
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6:02 AM EST, November 27, 2023

Four ranking Hamas commanders have been killed in an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) attack on underground tunnels in the Gaza Strip. The militants confirmed on Sunday that all four have died, despite previously withholding this information. At present, the fighting has paused and an exchange of hostages is underway on both sides. Humanitarian aid is also being dispatched to the Strip.

With the Gaza Strip conflicts having eased for several days now, Hamas has decided to release some individuals who were captured on October 7. The Israeli army has accepted the proposal for a ceasefire and is now in the process of a hostage exchange. However, this truce is precarious and there is a risk that both sides may revert to violent confrontations at any moment.

Until now, Hamas has maintained secrecy about the loss of its four ranking commanders. Prior to the ceasefire, the Israelis launched an attack on underground tunnels in an effort to take out the leaders of the militant organization. Their fate was uncertain, but it has now been revealed that they are deceased. This is an important victory for the IDF and another step closer towards winning the war.

The war has been ongoing for nearly two months, following an assault by the Palestinians on border regions.

In a statement that appeared on social media this Sunday, the military branch of Hamas acknowledged the deaths of its leaders. The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades confirmed the deaths of the Northern Brigade's commander Ahmed Ghandour, the head of missile forces Ayman Siam, and high-ranking officers Wael Rajab and Raafat Salman.

All four have been pursued by the IDF for approximately fifteen years, even before the most recent war.

The IDF orchestrated a special operation with the objective of taking out Ghandour and Siam, and demolishing part of the underground tunnels. These facilities were attacked and destroyed, but it was unclear what had happened to the two commanders. Hamas consistently and deliberately kept their deaths under wraps, but they have now announced their deaths.

All four individuals played a role in orchestrating the attacks on Israel on October 7, 2023.

The elimination of Ghandour is a big win for the Israelis. As reported by the "Times of Israel", he was among the most senior figures in the militant group. He was also a close associate of Hamas's military commander Muhammed Deif and was credited with having masterminded the notable 2006 kidnapping of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

Israeli forces had been pursuing him for years, but without success. It's said that Ghandour had survived several assassination attempts by the IDF, including attempts in 2002 and 2012. He was incarcerated in Israeli prisons from 1988 to 1994 before a subsequent term in detainment under the Palestinian Authority from 1995 to 2000. Following these periods of incarceration, he began to fight against Israel.

Each of the deceased commanders played significant roles in the last assault on Israel. Ayman Siam supervised the missile attack that preceded the land border raid and the mass slaughter of civilians in the kibbutzim. Raafat Salman was purportedly one of the strategic minds behind the paraglider assault that caught the Israeli army by surprise.

According to the IDF, remaining Hamas leaders are currently in hiding in the southern tunnels within the Gaza Strip. This is predicted to be the next target for an Israeli military strike.

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