Deputy commander of an elite unit of al-Qassam Brigades reportedly killed in Israeli operation in Gaza

Published By ITCT News Desk On : November 11, 2018
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Israel: An Israeli Special Operations Forces entered the Gaza Strip in a vehicle and assassinated a senior commander of the al-Qassam Brigades and another senior operative in their vehicle. In the ensuing battle, Israeli aircraft and tanks attacked more than 30 times in the area to cover the escape of the SOF team.

Multiple Israeli aircraft struck terror targets in southern Gaza, according to reports in Palestinian media outlets on Sunday.

The Hamas-run Interior Ministry in Gaza said in a statement that there were multiple casualties in the strike, and that its targets were members of Hamas’ security services.

Palestinian sources said that the person killed is deputy commander of an elite unit of Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, a military wing of Hamas, Nur Barake, alongside an additional commander. The two were killed in Khan Younes.

Hamas sources confirmed to the ITCT Newsdesk the death of senior commander Nur Barake, whose full name is Nourreddin Mohammed Salama Barake, in a failed attempt to kidnap him by Israeli SOF in Khan Younes.

There are also unconfirmed reports that an Israeli SOF team member was killed and another was injured in the operation.

The IDF said that the residents living near the border with the southern Gaza Strip reported hearing gunfire and explosions. The IDF said the blasts were most likely part of a military operation.

 

 

UPDATE:

At least 40 Israeli airstrikes have been reported in Gaza since the start of the operation. Four Palestinian terrorists have been confirmed killed in the Israeli operation so far.

Palestinian militant factions have retaliated by sending multiple rockets towards Israel.

According to unconfirmed reports, some members of Israeli SOF team entered Gaza wearing female clothing.

Palestinian militant factions have called on locals and their members not to post anything on social media relating to the events in Gaza.

 

ITCT Newsdesk obtained the photo of the slain al-Qassam Brigades commander Nur Baraka

 

In a statement, IDF denied reports that any of its soldiers were abducted in the operation in Gaza.

 

According to latest information, a total of five Hamas operatives have been killed and seven injured in the Gaza op so far. Names of those killed are listed below:

1. Nour al-Din Muhammad Salama Baraka.
2. Mohammed Majid Mousa Al-Qara.
3. Alaa al-Din Muhammad Qwaider.
4. Mustafa Hassan Mohammed Abu Odeh.
5. Mahmoud Attallah Musabeh.

 

An image from the Gaza hospital shows dead bodies of four Hamas militants killed in the IDF op

Militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad has gone on high alert and has called for the mobilization of its units across Gaza.

In a statement, al-Qassam Brigades said:

Israeli forces entered Gaza and killed a senior commender; the forces were discovered & the IDF conducted airstrikes to allow them to escape – in which several Hamas members were killed. The event continues and our forces are dealing with the dangerous Israeli aggression.

 

Original Hamas al-Qassam statement in Arabic

 

English translation of al-Qassam Brigades statement

 

According to unconfirmed reports from Palestinian sources and Hamas statement, the IDF strike team entered 3 KM into Gaza in a civilian vehicle and carried out the assassination.

Schools in Israel along the Gaza border region have been ordered to remain closed on Monday.

Israeli notification announcing closure of schools along Gaza border region on Monday

 

Dead body of Nur Baraka

 

Hamas Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum stated the following:

All praise to the courageous Palestinian resistance which encountered the coward Israeli aggression. What is being done by the Palestinian resistance proves that it is well-prepared and ready to defend the Palestinians.

The Palestinians resistance is ready to carry out its national duty and makes the Zionist Israeli enemy pays the price for its crimes.

 

IDF has confirmed that a ground operation took place in Gaza but most other claims by Hamas have not yet been confirmed by the IDF.

 

A video purportedly showing Israeli airstrikes targeting Hamas militants was posted on Twitter by Israeli journalist Simon Arann.

 

A statement released by Islamic Jihad said:

 The resistance is united in order to defend the homeland – and what we saw in Khan Yunis tonight makes clear the unity, the strength and the will to confront the enemy.

 

The Popular Resistance Committees, which is Gaza’s third largest militant faction, has promised ‘revenge’ against Israel in response to tonight’s events in Gaza Strip.

A video posted on Twitter by the US-based Ground Brief group showed Hamas members announcing the deaths of al-Qassam militants in the IDF op via two-way radio.

 

ITCT Deputy Director Faran Jeffery confirmed on his Twitter account that an image circulating on Twitter that purports to show the weapons and vehicle used by IDF special forces in tonight’s raid in Gaza is an old photo and unrelated to tonight’s events in Gaza.

Photo of Alaa al-Din Muhammad Qwaider, one of the seven militants killed tonight in Gaza

 

Photo of al-Qassam militant Mohammed Majid Mousa Al-Qara, also killed tonight in Gaza

 

ITCT Deputy Director Faran Jeffery while talking to ITCT Newsdesk about tonight’s events in Gaza, said “It doesn’t look like that tonight’s Israeli operation in Gaza was a planned event. Israel normally carries out targeted assassinations in Gaza via airstrikes, so it doesn’t make sense why would IDF carry out such a risky op and that too at a time when Arab mediation was helping things to cool down in Gaza. According to some reports I’m hearing, this was likely an attempt to kidnap Nur Baraka. But according to others, this was an intelligence gathering operation which went disastrously wrong. The IDF team was likely discovered and was fired at, forcing them to fire back. This all happened at a time when Israeli PM Netanyahu was visiting France, which further adds to the belief that this was not a planned op. Of course, all this is based on initial unconfirmed reports we are hearing. We can only make a concrete assessment once we have full facts about what exactly happened in Gaza tonight.”

 

UPDATE – 11:05 pm – London

According to latest reports, all militant factions in Gaza have given the call to respond to tonight’s Israeli actions in Gaza. So far dozens of rockets and mortars have been fired from Gaza towards Israel.

According to an IDF assessment, several dozen rockets are expected to be fired from Gaza towards Israel in next few hours.

It has been confirmed by Palestinian sources that the death toll of Hamas operatives has reached seven. Meanwhile, there have been reports of fresh Israeli retaliatory airstrikes in Gaza.

IDF confirmed that one of its officers was killed and another was lightly wounded in the Gaza incident.

 

UPDATE – 6:30 am – London 

According to multiple Israeli sources that ITCT Newsdesk talked to, the IDF officer slain in Gaza belonged to the Druze community.

ITCT Newsdesk obtained images of the site targeted by IDF during Sunday night’s op in Gaza.

 

 

 

IDF said that around 5:15 am (Israeli time zone) Gaza militant factions fired 17 rockets towards Israel, out of which three were intercepted by Iron Dome batteries.

 

Palestinian sources published photos of the civilian vehicle used by IDF strike team to enter Gaza. The vehicle was apparently destroyed by IDF airstrikes.

 

Names of all seven militants killed in IDF operation:

1. Nour al-Din Muhammad Salama Baraka.
2. Mohammed Majid Mousa Al-Qara.
3. Alaa al-Din Muhammad Qwaider.
4. Mustafa Hassan Mohammed Abu Odeh.
5. Mahmoud Attallah Musabeh.

6. Alaa Fseifis.

7. Omar Abu Khater.

 

Another photo from the Palestinian hospital in Gaza

 

Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan was quoted in Palestinian and Israeli media as saying: “We’re not seeking a new war with Israel, but if it will be brought upon us the resistance will know how to act. The blood of our martyrs was not spilled in vain and it will be avenged.”

ITCT Newsdesk has confirmed the full name of IDF officer killed in Gaza and also obtained a photo, both of which are being withheld due to privacy concerns.

 

UPDATE – 7:00 am – London

IDF has confirmed that the operation in Gaza was not meant to kill or abduct any militant but to “strengthen Israeli security”, which confirms that it was an intelligence gathering operation that went wrong.

IDF spokesman said this in Arabic: “We’re ready to inflict the necessary force to deal with every possibility”

 

UPDATE – 9:30 am – London

The funeral for the Israeli officer – identified only as Lt. Col M. by the IDF – who was killed last night in Gaza will take place at 3pm (Israeli time) today, according to the IDF. The funeral will not be open to the media.

 

Hamas tribute poster containing images of all the militants killed in Gaza last night

 

UPDATE  – 12th November,  1:30 pm – London

The head of Hamas Political Bureau participated in the funeral of 7 Palestinians killed late Sunday during the Israeli op into the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis.

Hanyia extended his condolences to the families and relatives of the 7 Palestinians killed during the undercover Israeli raid on Khan Younis. Thousands of Palestinians mourned the death of 7 Palestinians killed in a clandestine raid on Gaza.

 

UPDATE  –  3:30 pm – London

Gazan militant factions claimed joint responsibility via the Palestinian Joint Operation Room for over 60-100 rockets and mortars fired towards Israel, which are believed to be in response to the Sunday night’s events in Gaza. Several rockets impacted the ground while several others were intercepted by Israel. At least six Israelis have been injured in the latest rocket fire.

A civilian structure in Netivot. on fire after being hit by a rocket fired from Gaza

An Israeli civilian bus on fire near Gaza border after being hit by a projectile fired from Gaza

 

Another photo of the Israeli bus hit by a projectile

 

Picture of the super market destroyed by a rocket in Sderot

 

A video shows Iron Dome intercepting projectiles fired from Gaza:

 

IDF says 200 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, 60 were intercepted by the Iron Dome ,a number of others hit houses, factories and a bus, others landed in open fields. 17 Israelis were injured. The Israeli air-force hit 10 terror targets inside Gaza in retaliation.

 

UPDATE  13th November – 12:30 pm – London

IDF says Hamas has fired over 400 rockets at Israel in last 24 hours, following the Sunday night’s events in Gaza. Rocket attacks from Gaza and Israeli strikes continue back and forth. Fears of a big escalation are being echoed in the Israeli media.

 

UPDATE  18th November 

Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas official, said Sunday in an interview with Al-Aqsa TV that the purpose of  IDF’s botched operation in Gaza last week was to plant what looked like eavesdropping devices. “This aggression,” he said, constitutes “a clear violation of the ceasefire agreement.” This confirms the initial assessment of ITCT Deputy Director Faran Jeffery, who told ITCT Newsdesk on 11th Nov that the events in Gaza very much look like an IDF intelligence operation gone wrong.

 

 

Since ITCT does not cover conflicts, this story is now being closed due to escalation between Hamas and Israel.

A previous version of this story carried the name and photo of the slain IDF officer. ITCT Newsdesk has since removed the information due to privacy concerns by the officer’s family. We apologise to the officer’s family for any hurt we may have caused. 

 

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