Photo by Eytan Schweber/TPS on 31 October, 2023

Top Hamas Commander Killed as Israeli Forces Push Deeper Into Gaza

Public By Joshua Marks • 31 October, 2023

Jerusalem, 31 October, 2023 (TPS) -- Israel struck over 300 Hamas targets and killed “numerous” terrorists in the Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours, including a senior commander, the Israel Defense Forces said on Tuesday morning.

Among the sites targeted were underground anti-tank missile and rocket launching positions and military compounds, according to the military.

Nasim Abu Ajina, commander of the Beit Lahia Battalion of Hamas’s Northern Brigade, was killed in an Israeli air strike on Monday.

According to the IDF, Abu Ajina directed the Oct. 7 massacre of Israeli civilians in Kibbutz Erez and Netiv Ha’asara. He previously commanded the Hamas Aerial Array and participated in the development of the terrorist organization’s drones and paragliders.

“His elimination significantly harms the efforts of the Hamas terrorist organization to disrupt the IDF’s ground activities,” the Israeli military said.

Israeli ground forces also engaged and destroyed terrorist cells, as well as providing real-time direction for airstrikes on Hamas forces and infrastructure.

Despite the IDF’s ground operation in Gaza, rocket fire from the Strip continues, triggering sirens in Israeli border communities multiple times overnight Monday and on Tuesday morning.

Israel has been engaging with terrorist groups in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Judea and Samaria since declaring war on Hamas following the terror group’s Oct. 7 attack on southern Israeli communities. At least 1,400 people were killed.

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari  said on Tuesday morning that the number of confirmed hostages now stands at 240 and may rise further.

Israel’s stated goal is the elimination of Hamas as a political and military organization in Gaza.

Meanwhile, on the northern frontier, IDF fighter jets struck multiple Hezbollah targets in Lebanon overnight Monday.

Iranian terror proxies have also been attacking U.S. forces stationed Iraq and Syria. At least 24 drone and rocket attacks have occurred in recent days, including three on Monday, Voice of America reported, citing U.S. defense officials.

U.S. forces at a base near al-Shaddadi in northeastern Syria were attacked on Sunday.

No casualties were reported in any of the attacks, but dozens of U.S. military personnel were reportedly injured.

The United States blames Iranian proxy groups for the attacks.

“We know that these are Iranian-backed militia groups that are supported by Iran and, of course, we hold Iran responsible for these groups,” Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said last week.