Following the terrorist organization Hamas’s horrific actions on Saturday, October 7, Israel set out to “dismantle Hamas,” as IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi termed it. Simultaneously, US President Joe Biden was asked in an interview with “60 Minutes” “whether he believes that Hamas should be completely eliminated,” to which he replied affirmatively.
While the war is expanding, the IDF is advancing to attack senior officials and terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, as on the night of October 14-15, Oct. 2023, the IDF, under intelligence guidance from the Shin Bet, killed Billal Al Kedra, a commander in the elite force of the Hamas terrorist organization who was responsible for a large part of the murderous raid that claimed hundreds of murdered and abductees, ranging from babies to the elderly.
As stated, in a joint statement by the IDF Spokesperson and the Shin Bet Spokesperson’s Office, the two bodies stated that: “Following ISA intelligence, IDF fighter jets operated in the Gaza Strip and killed Billal Al Kedra last night, the Nukhba commander of the forces in southern Khan Yunis (birth place of Mohammed Deif), who was responsible for the Kibbutz Nirim massacre. Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror operatives were also killed”.
According to the IDF Spokesperson, on the night of October 14-15, the IDF attacked more than 100 military targets in the neighborhoods of Zeitoun, Khan Yunis and Jabaliya, along with military headquarters and compounds, dozens of launching positions, anti-tank positions and observation posts. In addition, PIJ military headquarters were destroyed also.
In addition, the IDF destroyed a number of terrorist infrastructures belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization’s security apparatuses, which are part of the organization’s governance system, both routinely and in emergencies, with many of those belonging to these infrastructures actively participating in the fighting against the IDF.
IDF spokesperson Lt Col Peter Lerner told CNN: “This just goes to exemplify that we have the intelligence in order to take out Hamas’ leadership, from Yahya Sinwar the mastermind of the massacre, all the way down to the terrorists that breached, penetrated and butchered our babies in their bedrooms. So, the operation is ongoing”.
It should be noted that Al Kedra is in addition to two other senior Hamas figures killed by Israel in the past 48 hours. The IDF eliminated senior Hamas figures Ali al-Qadi and Murad Abu Murad, who played a significant role in the terrorist attacks on Saturday, October 7.
Ali al-Qadi, a commander in Hamas’ Nukhba force, who was also killed with IDF and Shin Bet intelligence cooperation in a drone attack, was arrested in 2005 following the abduction and murder of Israelis and was exchanged in a prisoner swap as part of the Gilad Shalit deal.
Before him, Murad Abu Murad, head of Hamas’ air wing in the Gaza Brigade, was killed during extensive Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip that included dozens of terrorist targets. According to the Israeli Air Force, Abu Murad was one of the main players in the brutal and unprecedented attack on Israel that began the war, possibly in the context of the parachute infiltration of terrorists into Israeli territory.
Therefore, it is estimated that the IDF will continue with all its might to eliminate more and more senior commanders until the entire command leadership of the Hamas terrorist organization is completely eliminated. But it is never so simple in the political arena, while attempts are underway for a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to the residents of the Gaza Strip, and more pressure is being exerted on the Israeli government and the IDF to refrain as much as possible from harming Palestinian civilians who are not organizationally connected to Hamas.
Anyone familiar with the IDF’s conduct in depth and over the past few years knows that it operates with a policy of maximum avoidance of harming civilians, but it should be taken into account that Hamas is a terrorist organization that uses civilians in the Gaza Strip as human shields, even preventing them from fleeing the war zones, in order to make it difficult for Israel to carry out airstrikes against terrorist infrastructure and strategic assets.
In the event of an IDF ground incursion, Hamas terrorists will likely exploit places of concealment and human shields, using civilians from the Gaza Strip or Israeli abductees. However, the Israeli military will continue preparations and methods that have already proven effective in the past and that are unlikely to stop its top objective and its ultimate goal at this time – to eliminate the entire deadly danger from the Gaza Strip, possibly permanently.
Guest Writer – Dvir Peri