update deskIsrael at War

US confirms Hamas No. 3 Marwan Issa killed in Israeli strike

A second soldier was killed as Israeli special forces continue to operate against Hamas terrorists in the area of Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

Smoke rises during an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, Oct. 7, 2023. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90.
Smoke rises during an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, Oct. 7, 2023. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90.

The United States on Monday confirmed that an Israeli airstrike in Gaza last week killed senior Hamas commander Marwan Issa.

“Hamas’s number three, Marwan Issa, was killed in an Israeli operation last week,” U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said during a White House press briefing.

“The rest of the top leaders are in hiding, likely deep in the Hamas tunnel network, and justice will come for them too. We are helping to ensure that,” he added.

Jerusalem has not officially confirmed Issa’s death, but security officials told government ministers at Friday’s Security Cabinet meeting that signs indicated the targeted strike was successful.

Hamas has privately confirmed Issa’s death, Palestinian sources told Israel’s Kan News, according to a Sunday report, adding that the Hamas co-founder and deputy head of its “military” wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, was hiding in a tunnel when he was killed and that his body is still beneath the rubble.

Razi Abu Tomeh, commander of Hamas’s Central Camp Brigade, also died in the strike, according to the Kan report.

The airstrike took place at the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on the night of March 9.

Second soldier killed as Shifa Hospital area battle continues

The IDF announced on Tuesday afternoon that a second soldier in as many days was killed in action during a targeted raid on Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

The loss of Warrant Officer (res.) Sebastian Haion, 51, from Rosh Ha’ayin, brings the death toll since the start of the Gaza ground operation on Oct. 27 to 251 and to 594 since the start of the war on Oct. 7.

Israeli special forces continue to operate in the area of the Shifa medical center compound as part of a targeted raid that began early Monday after intelligence showed that Hamas terrorists had regrouped there.

A military source told Walla! News that IDF activity is focused not just on the medical center, but also on the surrounding area, where it is estimated that dozens of terrorists could be hiding.

According to the IDF, more than 50 terrorists have been killed and around 180 suspects arrested since the start of the Shifa operation

The military said that terrorists were eliminated in close combat and weapons confiscated “while preventing harm to civilians, patients, medical teams and medical equipment.”

In a joint statement released on Monday afternoon, the IDF and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) announced that during the operation, troops killed Faiq Mabhuoch, head of the Operations Directorate of Hamas’s Internal Security. He was also responsible for coordinating terrorist activities in the Gaza Strip, according to the statement.

“Faiq Mabhouh was eliminated in an encounter with the troops while armed and hiding in a compound at Shifa Hospital, from which he operated and advanced terrorist activity. Numerous weapons were located in the room adjacent to where he was eliminated,” the statement continued.

Hamas forces fired on Israeli troops from within the hospital, according to the army. The terrorists used patients at the hospital as human shields.

Another soldier was lightly wounded during Monday’s raid.

The IDF also said that aerial attacks in Al Qarara north of Khan Yunis eliminated terrorists and destroyed terrorist infrastructure.

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