The Israeli military has pledged retribution against those who planned a lethal operation in secret.
The Israeli military said on Monday that the leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip is “a dead man” as it began what is expected to be a violent campaign to murder key members of the terrorist group in response to its unprecedented onslaught on southern Israel at the weekend.
After the unexpected attack, which resulted in the deaths of more than 700 Israelis, the Israeli authorities pledged to track out Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip.
Head of Hamas in Gaza
In Gaza, a congested coastal enclave home to more than two million Palestinians, Yahya Sinwar is in charge of Hamas.
Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces, declared that Yahya Sinwar was the campaign’s commander and that he was deceased. He claimed that all of Hamas’ “assets, including its military and political leadership, are vulnerable to attack and doomed.”
Sinwar is the de facto head of Gaza and the second most powerful member of Hamas behind Ismail Haniyeh, the organization’s supreme leader. He is the highest-ranking Hamas official in Gaza.
Yahya Sinwar, who was born in a Khan Yunis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip in 1962, graduated in Arabic studies from the Islamic University of Gaza. He was
While still in college, he was jailed for the first time, made friends with Palestinian activists in jail, and pledged to devote his life to the cause of the Palestinian people.
By the middle of the 1980s, he was in command of Hamas’ security division and was in charge of finding and punishing Palestinians who were thought to be working with Israel. He was known as the Butcher of Khan Yunis because of his willingness to put suspected collaborators to death.
He was one of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners released in 2011 after being detained by Israel in 1988 on attempted murder charges and traded for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who had been held hostage by Hamas for five years.
Mahmoud Ishtiwi, a Hamas leader who was suspected of theft and what Hamas considered “moral turpitude,” or being homosexual, is thought to have been tortured and killed by Sinwar.
The charter of Hamas demands Sinwar is known to oppose any effort to reach a settlement or mediate with the Jewish state and wants to destroy Israel. His birthplace of Khan Younis is where he continues to reside. At the weekend, Israeli aircraft targeted his home, but Hamas maintained no one was hurt.
Head of Hamas’ military, the Qassam Brigades
Mohammed Deif, the secretive, one-eyed leader of Hamas’s military arm, the Qassam Brigades, will be number two on the Israeli list of Hamas figures to be killed.
The 16-year blockade of Gaza, the Israeli occupation, and a number of recent events that have heightened Israeli-Palestinian tensions, such as settlement construction in the occupied West Bank and clashes at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, were all mentioned in his announcement over the weekend. He is admired by many Palestinians for standing up to the Israelis, and Israel has repeatedly tried to kill him.
The weekend incursion, in which up to 1,000 Hamas fighters flooded into southern Israel from Gaza, is thought to have been planned by Deif. Previously, he Organizing a wave of suicide attacks that left hundreds of Israelis dead, Hamas has been at war with Israel for decades. He gradually ascended the ranks of Hamas’s military arm, the Qassam Brigades.
Conflict-related Palestinian and Israeli deaths compared
Since Saturday, 700 Israelis are reported to have died compared to around 500 Palestinians
Twenty years ago, he lost a leg and an arm in an air attack that almost killed him. In a different assault, he lost an eye. His wife and young boy were killed in an Israeli airstrike in 2014 as well.
He is credited with creating the Qassam missile, which has been used by Hamas to launch thousands of rockets into Israel. He is also alleged to be responsible for the construction of a maze of tunnels beneath Gaza.
His name, Deif, translates to “the guest” in Arabic, alluding to his propensity to spend each night in a different place, hosted by supporters, in an effort to elude Israeli airstrikes and monitoring.
Deif is unwavering in his resolve to destroy the state of Israel.
“Deif has attempted to ignite the second battle of Israeli independence,” Eyal Rosen, a colonel in the reserves of the Israeli army who is well-versed in Gaza, told the Financial Times. The primary objective is to gradually destroy Israel. This is just the first stage; there are more to come.
Spokesman for Hamas’
A spokesperson for Hamas’s military wing, Abu Obeida, will also be high on Israel’s hit list. Obeida made the announcement that Hamas was imprisoning scores of Israeli soldiers in tunnels and “safe places” within the Gaza Strip.
If confirmed, that may launch difficult and presumably protracted discussions to exchange them for some of the thousands of Palestinians Israel is imprisoning.
Leader of Hamas
It will be challenging for the Israelis to take out Ismail Haniyeh, the chief figurehead of Hamas, who lives outside of the Gaza Strip in Qatar. There is video of Haniyeh and other Hamas officials celebrating the attack in his office in Doha, the capital of Qatar.
He has dubbed the assault Operation Al-Aqsa Flood and promised to continue “the battle to liberate our land and our prisoners languishing in occupation prisons” over the weekend.
He added that armed Palestinian factions want to take the conflict to Jerusalem and the West Bank. He escaped Gaza in 2016 and settled in Qatar, having survived at least one Israeli murder attempt.
Leader of Islamic Jihad
Ziyad al-Nakhalah, the head of Islamic Jihad, will also be a target for the Israelis, who are keen to find and assassinate him. It is a different organization from Hamas, yet it took part in the horrific attack that was conducted from Gaza and apparently kidnapped some 30 people.
The captives won’t be released until all Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails are freed, according to Al-Nakhaleh, who ordinarily resides in Beirut.