Hamas confirms top commanders Ahmed Ghandour and Ayman Siam killed in IDF airstrike

Senior Hamas leaders Wael Rajab and Raafat Salman were also reportedly killed by IDF

Israeli airstrike Smoke rises after Israeli airstrikes in north Gaza, as seen from southern Israel, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas | Reuters

Hamas has confirmed that several senior commanders targeted by Israel airstrikes in the Gaza Strip have been killed.

Ahmed al Ghandour, the commander of Hamas northern Gaza brigade, and Ayman Siam, the head of Hamas rocket firing array, were killed in the strikes, according to the militant group. Other top Hamas commanders, Wael Rajab and Raafat Salman, were also reportedly killed by IDF.

IDF tried to kill Al Ghandour at least thrice in the past with earliest one going back to 2002, according to the Counter Extremism Project, an advocacy group based in Washington.

The IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari on November 16 said the Israeli military targeted senior Hamas leaders in two major airstrikes. In of the strikes on a Hamas underground infrastructure in Gaza, IDF said it had targeted Ghandour and Siam. But the military did not confirm if the duo was killed back then.

Hagari had also said that top Hamas politburo members, including Sameh al-Siraj, Rawhi Mushtaha and Essam al-Dalis, were targeted in the second attack. It is not yet confirmed if these men were killed in the attack.

Back then, Hagari said Hamas is trying to hide the results of the strike, reported The Times of Israel. "It can be said with certainty that the underground where they were was very heavily damaged (sic)," the Israeli outlet quoted Hagari as saying.

On November 24, the military revealed that IDF fighter jets, directed by IDF and ISA intelligence, neutralised Amar Abu Jallah, commander of the Hamas naval forces in Khan Yunis. Abu Jallah was responsible for several terror attacks via sea that IDF said it has foiled.

- with inputs from agencies

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