Several senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists were killed in ground clashes over the past several days, the IDF announced Friday.
Their names are:
- Salah Abu Hassanein - top military leader and propaganda minister for Islamic Jihad;
- Hafez Mohammad Hamad - top terror commander for Islamic Jihad in the Beit Hanoun (northern Gaza) area who is directly responsible for the rocket fire on Sderot during escalation leading up to Operation Protective Edge;
- Hussein Abd al-Qader Muheisin - top terror commander for Islamic Jihad in Sheijaya;
- Akram Sha'ar - top terror commander for Islamic Jihad in Khan Younis, who is directly responsible for both rocket fire and terror attacks in Israel;
- Mahmoud Ziada - top terror commander for Islamic Jihad in Jabaliya, responsible for upgrading Islamic Jihad's arsenal and directing fighting against Israel during Operation Protective Edge;
- Osama al-Haya - terror leader for Hamas in Sheijaya, whose son is in Hamas's 'political wing';
- Muhammad Shaaban - a senior commander of Hamas's naval forces;
- Ahmad Sahmoud - Hamas commander in Khan Younis; and,
- Abdallah Alah'ras - commander in the Hamas's "military wing," the Al-Qassam Brigades.
Palestinian sources later told AFP Friday that is Hassanein's 12- and 15-year-old sons were also killed.
This is the second announcement by the IDF about major terror leaders, after news surfaced Wednesday that several Islamic Jihad leaders had been injured over the course of the ground offensive.
Earlier Friday, a senior IDF officer told Arutz Sheva on condition of anonymity that the IDF's predetermined ground offensive goals were "completed," and that the IDF was focusing now on simply destroying the remainder of terror tunnels throughout Gaza.
Updates to follow.