In a recent statement, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced that two senior members of Hamas, Jawad Abu Shamala and Zakaria Abu Ma’amr, were killed in Israeli airstrikes. The IDF launched over 100 airstrikes on Gaza, resulting in the deaths of these Hamas leaders.
Hamas later confirmed the deaths of Abu Shamala and Abu Ma’amr on their official website, describing them as martyrs as a result of Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip. Abu Shamala served as the economy minister in Hamas’ political wing, while Abu Ma’amr was a close associate of Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza.
The IDF stated that Abu Shamala was responsible for financing and directing terrorism, while Abu Ma’amr played a key role in planning offensive actions against Israel’s security. This underscores the significance of their deaths in impacting Hamas’ operations and capabilities.
The Israeli airstrikes have been ongoing since Saturday, with the al-Furkan neighborhood in Gaza City being the primary target. The IDF referred to this neighborhood as a “nest of terror,” indicating the presence of Hamas activity and infrastructure. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has affirmed that the airstrikes will continue with full strength.
However, these airstrikes have resulted in a high number of civilian casualties. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, as of Tuesday, 770 people have been killed and 4,000 others wounded in the strikes. Shockingly, among the dead are 140 children, highlighting the devastating impact on innocent lives.
The Israeli bombing campaign was launched in response to a full-scale assault by Hamas on Israel. Since Saturday morning, Hamas has been firing rockets into Israel, with some reaching as far as Tel Aviv. Air raid sirens have been sounding across southern Israel, and Hamas fighters have infiltrated the border and attacked Jewish settlements near Gaza.
As a result of Hamas’ actions, at least 800 Israelis have been killed and over 2,000 wounded. Additionally, Hamas is reportedly holding at least 150 Israelis as hostages and has threatened to execute them on live television if Israel continues its airstrikes on Gaza without warning.
Despite international calls for de-escalation and a ceasefire, Israeli officials have shown no signs of backing down. Israeli Major General Ghassan Alian emphasized the need to treat the residents of the Palestinian enclave as “human animals.” He warned that there would be no electricity or water in Gaza, only destruction, stating that those who wanted hell would get hell.
The situation remains tense, with both sides engaged in a violent and deadly conflict. It is crucial for diplomatic efforts to intensify and for a peaceful resolution to be reached to prevent further loss of life and suffering. International actors must emphasize the importance of de-escalation and work towards a lasting ceasefire that addresses the root causes of the conflict.