The IDF has released footage of the pre-dawn Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip that killed that three of the senior commanders of the armed wing of Hamas.
Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades in a statement identified the leaders as Mohammed Abu Shamalah, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhum. Emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said eight people were killed in the strike Thursday.
Witnesses said a four-storey family home was completely destroyed in a series of air strikes.
The airstrike was carried out based on intelligence provided by the Shabak (Israel Security Agency), which led to the identification of two central Hamas figures.
Mohammed Abu Shamalah, 40, was the most senior Hamas commander in southern Gaza, classified by security services as the head of the "Southern Command" of Hamas. Abu Shamalah was responsible for the areas of Rafiah and Khan Younis, and is a longtime friend and associate of Ezzedine al-Qassam's elusive leader, Mohammed Deif, who was himself targeted in an IDF strike yesterday - a strike he is believed to have survived.
He was also a close associate of Raed al-Atar, another leading Hamas commander eliminated in this morning's strike.
Together, they have been involved in dozens of deadly terrorist attacks since the 1990s. Most famously, the pair planned and coordinated the 2006 attack on the Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza in which two IDF soldiers were killed and Gilad Shalit was taken hostage.