IDF Strikes Hamas Commander in Gaza City, Reports of Casualties

By Yoni Weiss

Soldiers drive a tank near the Israel-Gaza border, in southern Israel, June 5. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)

The IDF targeted a Hamas military site in Gaza City’s Shati camp, reportedly aiming at senior Hamas commander Raad Saad, head of Hamas operations. Some reports suggest Saad was killed in the attack, though there has been no confirmation from Israel or Hamas.

The IDF announced that fighter jets struck two Hamas military sites in Gaza City, in the Shati and Tuffah neighborhoods. This announcement was unusual, as the military typically does not specify strikes unless they target high-value individuals. The IDF promised further details later.

Palestinian media reported numerous casualties from the strikes. Ismail Al-Thawabta, director of the Hamas-run government media office, told Reuters that at least 42 Palestinians were killed, though these figures cannot be verified and do not distinguish between combatants and civilians.

Saad is considered one of Hamas’s top military leaders in the Gaza Strip. His death would be the most significant killing of a Hamas commander since Marwan Issa, the deputy commander of Hamas’s military wing, was assassinated in March. Saad was believed to be at Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital when the IDF raided it in March, but he apparently managed to escape.

Footage showed the aftermath of the airstrikes.

Additionally, the IDF stated that Israeli fighter jets and other aircraft had struck various targets across the Gaza Strip over the past day, including weapon depots and cells of terror operatives. In one incident, the IDF carried out a drone strike against a cell that had fired an anti-aircraft missile at an Israeli attack helicopter operating over Gaza. The helicopter was not under threat, and an adjacent weapons warehouse used by the cell was also destroyed.

On Friday, the IDF responded to reports of gunfire near United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) teams along the Israeli-designated “humanitarian route” from the Kerem Shalom crossing into the Gaza Strip. The IDF said troops engaged two terrorists in the area.

“Following an examination on the matter, the IDF operated to neutralize two gunmen who posed a threat to nearby IDF troops in the area,” the military said. The IDF emphasized that the U.N. workers were not the target of the operation and were not harmed during the strike.

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