Tel Aviv: The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Sunday that they had killed a senior Hamas commander who was behind the brutal attacks on two Israeli communities last week. The IDF identified the slain terrorist as Bilal al-Kedra, the leader of the elite Nukhba Unit of Hamas in the southern Khan Younis area of the Gaza Strip.
According to the IDF, al-Kedra was responsible for the “inhumane, barbaric” massacre of civilians in Kibbutz Nirim and Nir Oz on October 7, when Hamas commandos infiltrated Israel and opened fire on unsuspecting residents. The attack left four Israelis dead and several others wounded.
The IDF said that al-Kedra was located and targeted by an airstrike after a joint intelligence operation by the Shin Bet security agency and the Military Intelligence Directorate. The IDF also said that several other terrorists from Hamas and Islamic Jihad were eliminated in overnight airstrikes in Gaza.
The IDF shared a video of the airstrike that killed al-Kedra on ‘X’, a social media platform. The video showed a large explosion in a building where al-Kedra was hiding. The IDF wrote: “Bilal al-Kedra led the murderous attacks on Kibbutz Nirim and Nir Oz. We just eliminated him. All Hamas terrorists will meet the same fate.”
The IDF also said that it struck over 100 military targets in Gaza overnight, including Hamas command centers, military compounds, rocket launchers, anti-tank missile launch posts, and observation posts. The IDF also hit Islamic Jihad command centers and weapons depots.
The airstrikes came as Israel continued to prepare for a possible ground invasion of Gaza after Hamas launched hundreds of rockets at Israel on October 7. The IDF has called on residents of northern Gaza to evacuate to the southern part of the enclave using safe corridors between 10 am to 4 pm (local time), warning them of an imminent escalation.
The IDF said that its goal is to restore security and stability to the Israeli people and to deter Hamas from further aggression. The IDF also said that it holds Hamas responsible for all attacks emanating from Gaza and that it will continue to defend Israel against any threat.