newsIsrael at War

IDF shows footage of airstrike targeting Hamas No. 3 in central Gaza

IDF spokesman: Too soon to know fate of Marwan Issa after underground compound struck overnight on Sunday; Gallant: Iran seeks to foment escalation during Ramadan.

Lighting bombs seen above Khan Yunis in the central Gaza Strip on Feb. 20, 2024. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90.
Lighting bombs seen above Khan Yunis in the central Gaza Strip on Feb. 20, 2024. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90.

Footage from an Israeli Air Force strike targeting a compound used by Hamas’s No. 3 in command in the central Gaza Strip, which occurred overnight on Sunday, was shared by Israel Defense Forces spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari on Monday evening. Hagari added that Issa’s fate is not yet known.

Issa may have been in the underground compound in central Gaza’s Nuseirat area during the strike on the target, according to several Israeli media reports, alongside additional senior Hamas terrorists, including a Hamas chief from the central Gaza camps brigade.

Meanwhile, during a speech to members of the Israel Defense Forces’ elite Duvdevan Unit, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned that Iran is making every effort to achieve an escalation of terrorism during the month-long Muslim holiday of Ramadan, which starts for many Muslims on Monday night.

After holding an operational discussion with the Duvdevan Unit’s commander, Lt. Col. D. (full name withheld for security reasons), company commanders and the commander of Duvdevan’s reserve unit, Gallant received a briefing on the unit’s activities in Gaza and in thwarting terrorism in hot spots across Judea and Samaria.

Attacking an underground compound of senior Hamas officials in the center of the Gaza Strip. Credit: IDF.

“The main change you are experiencing in the Judea and Samaria territories is expressed in two things: one, the large amount of weapons in the area; and the second, a strong Iranian effort to bring in weapons and standard [industrial] combat means into the area,” Gallant stated.

“Duvdevan specifically, and the [IDF] Judea and Samaria Division, Central Command, offer strong solutions,” he added.

“The result of all this is great pressure, and it will be tested these days during Ramadan. There will also be additional tests. It could be in local matters, and if it starts at the Temple Mount [in Jerusalem], it could also trigger something systemic. The unit will need to be operated or act according to circumstances—wherever there are problems, wherever they [Israel] want to prevent them, wherever they want to provide a response, and the response is a special forces response,” said Gallant.

“As of today, we must assume that during the Ramadan period we will be in an escalation [phase] and maybe even a boiling point. You will be assigned heavy tasks, and it must be assumed that you may also encounter in certain places organized [terrorist] frameworks, even if we do not have precise intelligence. You need to be prepared,” the defense minister cautioned.

“You need to be ready; you are one of the main forces we rely on in Judea and Samaria for clear reasons. And there are those who bother to ensure that the actions against us take on a different character, and that’s the Iranians. Iran is connected to everything happening in Judea and Samaria and tries to push weapons, ammunition, guidance, information, deception processes and influencing common perceptions, all into the area,” said Gallant.

‘We may face additional challenges ahead’

Later, addressing the IDF General Staff Forum led by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, Gallant stated: “There are successes, including in recent days, and there will be more successes—the action is consistent and going in the right direction. However, we must also take into account that we may face additional challenges ahead, the first of which is in the north, with all its implications.”

“Five months after the start of the conflict, it’s clear that Hamas miscalculated its situation regarding what the State of Israel knows how to do and what it would be willing to sacrifice. They thought they could deter us, divide us, make us pay a price that would lead to a loss of will, that our friends would leave us—none of these things happened,” said Gallant. “Both our friends and our enemies are examining what is happening in the State of Israel, and in this aspect, ending the conflict with a victory is also the beginning of directions in which the country will develop strategically—deterrence against enemies and support from friends. Therefore, it is important to end this not only for the present but also for the future.”

Iron Dome, Mount Hermon
Smoke from rockets fired from Lebanon towards Israel and from interceptors of the Iron Dome air-defense system near Mount Hermon, March 10, 2024. Photo by Ayal Margolin/Flash90.

Earlier on Monday, soldiers of the IDF elite Egoz Unit engaged and killed armed terrorists in the Hamas stronghold of Khan Yunis.

The soldiers are engaged in targeted raids on terrorist infrastructure, locating weapons, and they have been eliminating dozens of terrorists in recent hours, the IDF said.

During scans of a building, terrorists opened fire on the soldiers. Using a drone, the soldiers identified the terrorists and returned fire. “During the encounter, the soldiers precisely launched a ‘Matador’ [shoulder-fired] missile at the room the terrorist was in and were able to avoid harming a woman and two children, who were in the adjacent room. The soldiers eliminated three armed terrorists, and another terrorist surrendered and was transferred for further interrogation by the security forces. The forces evacuated the woman and children from the building and transferred them for medical treatment,” the military said.

Also on Sunday, the U.S. Military Central Command announced that it conducted a further humanitarian assistance airdrop into northern Gaza.

“The joint operation included U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft and U.S. Army Soldiers specialized in aerial delivery of U.S humanitarian assistance supplies,” said CENTCOM.

“U.S. C-130s dropped over 27,600 U.S. meal equivalents and 25,900 bottles of water into northern Gaza—an area of great need—allowing for civilian access to the critical aid,” it added.

In the north, Hezbollah fired projectiles at the Kiryat Shmona area on Monday, and the Israeli Air Force struck terror targets in Southern Lebanon.

On Sunday, a squad of three Muslim Brotherhood operatives in Lebanon known as the Al Fajr organization, operating under the auspices of Hamas, were attacked and killed in the Mount Dov area, according to the Alma Center, which specializes in security challenges in the northern arena.

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