Hamas No. 3 Marwan Issa ‘Likely’ Killed in Recent Israeli Airstrike, Awaiting IDF Confirmation

2024-03-16 11:00:20

Hamas number 3 terrorist leader, who was targeted by the Israeli military last weekend, was likely killed in that airstrike, Israeli media reports say.

Following days of investigation, Israeli military and intelligence officials believe that Marwan Issa, a top Hamas terrorist and a key mastermind behind the October 7 attacks, did not survive last Sunday night’s strike.

Israeli secutiry officials on Friday informed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war-time cabinet that “all signs indicate that Marwan Issa .. was killed when he was targeted by an IDF strike earlier this week,” the Israeli TV channel i24NEWS reported.

The targeted terrorist was the deputy chief of Hamas’s Gaza-based jihadist fighting force, and was among the key planners of the October 7 attacks in which 1200 Israelis were brutally murdered and over 240 were taken as hostages to Gaza.

“Issa is considered the number three in the terror organization in Gaza and serves as the deputy of Mohammed Deif, the head of Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades,” The Times of Israel noted. “Together with Hamas’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, they are believed to have masterminded the group’s October 7 massacre in southern Israel that triggered the war.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu was quoted in Israel media saying that Issa’s elimination was “a great achievement for Israel.” The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has not yet issued issue a final confirmation.

If confirmed, Issa will be the second October 7 mastermind to be taken out by Israel. In early January, an alleged IDF drone strike in Lebanon killed Hamas deputy chief, Saleh al-Arouri.

The Israeli TV channel i24NEWS reported Friday:

Security officials briefed ministers during today’s security cabinet meeting that all indications suggest Marwan Issa, the deputy commander of Hamas’s military wing in the central Gaza Strip, was killed in an IDF strike earlier this week.

Hebrew media reports detailed the briefing, highlighting a potential blow to Hamas leadership.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the news with optimism, hailing it as “a great achievement for Israel,” according to quotes from Ynet.

The IDF had previously confirmed targeting Issa in a strike on central Gaza’s Nuseirat on Monday. However, at the time, the military did not have sufficient information to confirm the success of the operation.

Netanyahu approves plans for taking Rafah terrorist stronghold

Meanwhile the hunt is on for Hamas’s Gaza chief, Yahya Sinwar, and its top terrorist commander in the enclave, Mohammad Deif. Both men are believed to be hiding in the Hamas’s last and southernmost stronghold of Rafah, using some hundred or so remaining Israeli hostages as human shields.

Prime Minister Netanyahu on Friday okayed the military and humanitarian plan for taking Rafah. “The Prime Minister’s Office announced on Friday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved the IDF’s plans for an operation in Rafah,” the Israeli news website YNET reported.

The decision was taken despite the Biden White House drawing a ‘red line’ on any large-scale military operation against Hamas terrorists in Rafah.

The Israel armed forces hit terrorist targets across Gaza, particularly in the town Khan Yunis, just couple of miles north of Rafah. “During joint IDF and IAF operational activity in Khan Yunis, a fighter jet struck and destroyed a Hamas weapons storage facility,” the Israel military said in a press release Saturday morning.

Biden backs Schumer’s ‘good’ call for fresh elections in Israel

President Biden backed top Democrat Chuck Schumer’s call for the ouster of Prime Minister Netanyahu and holding of news elections in Israel amid the ongoing war against Hamas. 

“President Biden on Friday praised Senator Chuck Schumer’s address lashing out at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, calling it “a good speech” that raised concerns “shared not only by him but by many Americans”,” The New York Times reported.

There was little support in Israel for Senate majority leader’s brazen call. PM Netanyahu’s Likud party rebuffed the remarks saying Israel was not a “banana republic” and that the government’s conduct of the war was “supported by a large majority.”

Despite U.S. and European media’s bias and hostile coverage, the Israeli prime minister enjoys overwhelming public support for his war aims in Gaza. In a poll data released on Friday, 62% of Israelis support Netanyahu’s post-war plan for Gaza, with only 16% opposing it, the Jerusalem Post reported.


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Hamas No. 3 Marwan Issa ‘Likely’ Killed in Recent Israeli Airstrike, Awaiting IDF Confirmation


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