The operation to eliminate Rateb Abu Sahiban, the commander of Hamas’ naval forces, came in response to his involvement in planning and leading a Hamas infiltration attempt via the sea on October 24, which was thwarted by Israeli Navy forces. The IDF has also shared footage of the overnight strike on social media platform, X.
“The Air Force eliminated Ratab Abu Tshaiban, the commander of the naval force of the Gaza Brigade, at the end of a joint intelligence effort by the Navy, Air Force, Amman and Shin Bet. Tshaiban planned and commanded the naval penetration attempt that took place on October 24 in the area of the Zikim coast by sea,” posted Israeli Air Force on X.
Meanwhile, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, IDF Spokesman, has stated that the military is “advancing through the stages of the war” in Gaza, with ground forces actively conducting operations in the Strip.
“Infantry, armoured, engineering and artillery forces participating in the activity, accompanied by heavy (air) fire,” he says, adding, “The forces are still on the ground and continue the fighting.” No soldiers have been hurt in the expanded ground operation, he also said.
Discussing the elimination of two Hamas commanders in overnight Israeli airstrikes–the head of the terror group’s aerial forces and a naval forces commander–Hagari said, “their elimination brings good progress in the stages of the war and helps the forces fight a weaker enemy.”
While reports from Gaza are limited due to the collapse of internet and phone services during Israeli bombardment, the situation is one of total chaos in the Strip, The Times of Israel reported.
A substantial bombardment in the northern Gaza Strip and difficulties in communication resulted in people searching for family members in other areas and widespread panic.
The conflict in Gaza escalated after the October 7 attack by Hamas, where approximately 2,500 terrorists breached the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip, leading to casualties and the seizure of hostages. Israel has characterised its Gaza offensive as targeting Hamas’ infrastructure with the goal of eliminating the entire terror group while making efforts to minimise civilian casualties, The Times of Israel reported.
At least 7,326 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks since October 7, More than 1,400 people were killed in the Hamas attack on Israel.