Israel takes out another Hamas leader; video shows Iran minister embracing Ismail Haniyeh

Ismail Haniyeh is the chairman of Hamas and lives in Qatar

QATAR-IRAN-PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-CONFLICT-DIPLOMACY This handout picture provided by the Iranian foreign ministry shows Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian (L) meeting with Hamas' political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh in Doha | AFP

Israel on Sunday said it killed the Hamas commando forces leader who led the murderous rampage at the southern Israeli communities of Nirim and Nir Oz last weekend. 

According to Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Billal al-Qedra, the commander of the so-called Nukhba unit’s southern Khan Younis battalion, was killed in an airstrike following intelligence efforts by the Shin Bet security agency and Military Intelligence Directorate. "He was responsible for the murderous raid in Kibbutz Nirim and Nir Oz," the IDF added. 

Several Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists operating in the Gaza Strip were also killed as IDF fighter jets attacked 100 targets overnight, including Hamas command centres, military compounds, dozens of rocket launchers, anti-tank missile launch posts and observation posts and Islamic Jihad command centres. 

al-Qedra is the second Hamas leader to be killed in two days, the first being Murad Abu Murad, the head of Hamas’s air force. Abu Murad was responsible for directing Hamas attackers who crossed the Israeli border from the air on hang gliders last Saturday. "Last night, IAF fighter jets conducted wide-scale strikes throughout the Gaza Strip. These included dozens of Hamas terror targets as well as 'Nukhba' terrorist operatives that were in a staging ground in the Gaza Strip," the Israeli Air Force tweeted on Saturday. 

Meanwhile, Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh was caught on camera embracing Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian when the duo met in Doha. The video shared by Iran’s state-run media shows the two embracing as Amirabdollahian exits a car. It is unclear what the duo discussed.

Iran funds and helps Hamas, but claimed it did not know about last week's attack on Israel. The Iranian leadership, however, cheered the massacre as a victory.

Amirabdollahian, who is in Doha after visiting Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, met in Beirut last week with Hezbollah terror chief Hassan Nasrallah. Iran has warned in a social media post on Saturday that if Israel's "war crimes and genocide" are not stopped then the situation could spiral out of control.

 "If the Israeli apartheid's war crimes & genocide are not halted immediately, the situation could spiral out of control & ricochet far-reaching consequences - the responsibility of which lies with the UN, the Security Council & the states steering the Council toward a dead end," Iran's U.N. mission posted.

This comes as reports emerged that Tehran warned Israel that Iran will intervene if Israel does not call off its looming ground incursion into Gaza. 

Arriving in Beirut on Thursday for talks with his Lebanese counterpart, Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian warned that Tehran's allies in the region could take action against Israel. "The continuation of war crimes against Palestine and Gaza will receive a response from the rest of the axis. And naturally, the Zionist entity and its supporters will be responsible for the consequences of that," Amirabdollahian said. 

Amirabdollahian did not specify which groups belonged to the axis. Tehran's other allies and proxies in the region are Syria, Palestinian militant groups such as Islamic Jihad, the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, and Houthi rebels in Yemen.


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