Israel Defense Forces targets senior Hamas commander

Israel Defense Forces targets senior Hamas commander in Gaza. Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

The Israel Defense Forces on Saturday targeted a Hamas military site in Gaza’s Shati camp with several media reports claiming senior commander of the group Raad Saad was the target of the attack.

Saad was reportedly the head of the Hamas operations.

The death of Saad has not been confirmed by Israel or Hamas.

The IDF said fighter jets struck two Hamas military sites in Gaza City — in Shati and in the Tuffah neighborhood. The statement was unusual in that the army does not regularly announce specific strikes unless they are on a high-value target, reported The Times of Israel.

The Israeli military said it would share further details later.

Saad is considered to be among Hamas’s top military brass in the Gaza Strip, serving as chief of the terror group’s operations division. His death would mark the most significant killing of a Hamas commander in months, since the assassination of Marwan Issa, the deputy commander of the terror group’s military wing, in March, reported The Times of Israel.

Gaza is “a world of devastation” and still in the grip of war after nearly nine months of conflict, UN humanitarians, who are just back from the enclave, reported on Friday, as they described widespread destruction and stories of pregnant mothers forced to request preterm C-sections out of desperation and fear.

“The population has been almost entirely dispossessed of the means and capacities to ensure food security, shelter, health, and livelihood,” said Maryse Guimond, UN Women’s Special Representative for the Occupied Palestinian Territory. “Women were asking me, ‘When can we go back to our homes?’ Each displacement has brought more loss and fear.”

Dignity, privacy gone

Speaking to journalists in Geneva via video, veteran humanitarian worker Ms. Guimond described seeing people “crammed” into makeshift shelters and lacking even the most basic essentials. At one school-turned-shelter run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), there are only 25 toilets for the 14,000 people seeking safety inside the compound and the 59,000 others camping outside, she noted.

Pointing to the “enormous” problems of access to Gaza’s last functioning hospitals today, Dr Rik Peeperkorn from the UN World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the enclave’s health workers, obstetricians and doctors now treat far higher levels of low birthweight babies than before the war.