Tel Aviv: The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced that it has killed Nisam Abu Ajina, the commander of Hamas’s Beit Lahiya battalion, in an overnight airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip. Abu Ajina was responsible for directing Hamas militants who carried out deadly attacks on Kibbutz Erez and Netiv Hasara on October 7, killing more than 1,300 Israelis. He was also involved in Hamas’ air force and drone and paraglider operations, according to the IDF.
The IDF said the airstrike was based on intelligence collected by the Shin Bet Security Agency and the Military Intelligence Directorate. “His elimination represents a significant blow to the efforts of the Hamas terrorist group to disrupt IDF ground operations in the Gaza Strip,” it said in a statement.
The October 7 attacks, which Hamas called Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, were the bloodiest in Israel’s history and the deadliest for Jews since the Holocaust. Hamas launched thousands of rockets and infiltrated hundreds of gunmen across the border from the Gaza Strip, targeting military bases and civilians in towns and villages, kibbutzim, and at a music festival near Re’im. Hamas also took about 240 hostages, including men, women, and children, to the Gaza Strip. So far, only four hostages have been released by Hamas, which demands the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel in exchange for the remaining captives.
Israel responded to the October 7 attacks with a massive aerial and ground campaign in the Gaza Strip, killing thousands of Palestinians, including hundreds of children. According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, 8,525 Palestinian civilians have died in the war so far, including 3,542 children. This figure is higher than the 8,306 deaths reported yesterday.
The war between Israel and Hamas has been ongoing for nearly a month, with no signs of a ceasefire. On Tuesday, Hamas launched another attack on Israeli forces in the northern and southern regions of Gaza, using machine guns and anti-tank missiles. Israel intensified its ground operations within Gaza, using tanks and infantry to attack the main city inside the Gaza Strip. The United Nations and other international actors have called for an immediate end to the hostilities and a peaceful resolution of the conflict.