Hamas terror chief Marwan Issa was vaporised in airstrike ‘with no human shield casualties’

Israel confirms killing of deputy commander of Hamas’s Al Qassam Brigades


Marwan Issa (centre) in 2011 with fellow Hamas chiefs Saleh al-Arouri (left) and Ahmed Jabari, both assassinated by Israel

At the moment when an Israeli airstrike killed Marwan Issa, deputy commander of Hamas’ military wing, he was beyond the protection of the “human shields” normally used by senior terror chiefs, Israeli sources have suggested. 

The sources told the Times that his location would have been identified either through interrogation of a captured Hamas fighter or after a member of his close circle mistakenly used a mobile phone, whose data Israeli intelligence are able to track. No hostages were injured in the strike, the sources said.

He was likely killed during a rare trip out of the tunnels where he was hiding, or in a compound that was smashed by the airstrike, they said.

Military leaders attributed their discovery of Issa’s location to “field intelligence information” but did not elaborate further.

According to the report, Issa spent much of the war in the north and centre of the Gaza Strip while other Hamas senior leaders retreated south. 

Known as ‘the shadow’ for his rare public appearances — his last known photograph is from 2011 — Issa, 58, is the most senior Hamas leader to be killed since the Israeli offensive in Gaza began.

The news of Issa’s death was confirmed on Monday by White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan during a press conference.

The confirmation comes a week after the IDF announced on 11 March that fighter jets struck an underground compound in the Nuseirat area of the Gaza Strip which was used by Issa. 

Issa is one of a triumvirate of Hamas officials believed to be responsible for orchestrating the October 7 massacre, along with Mohammad Deif and Yahya Sinwar.

On Sunday, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said that Hamas is “trying very hard to hide” Issa’s death. He added: “We embarked on this operation after many days of complex planning, creating the operational conditions and gathering sufficient intelligence. This is an incredibly important achievement for the IDF.

“A capability we have built over the years together with the ISA, a combination of high-quality intelligence and precise fire from the Air Force, which enables the elimination of senior officials underground. This strike is an expression of the IDF's ability to reach the most complex places – at the right time, and with high precision. We will continue the effort to eliminate the senior officials, this is a major goal in the war."

Issa, also known as Abu Baraa’, was born in the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza in 1965. Considered one of the most wanted men by Israeli officials, Issa spent time in both Israeli and Palestinian Authority prisons during the first and second intifadas respectively and has been a member of Hamas for decades. He reportedly learned survival skills from Hamas military commander Deif, who remains a target for the IDF.

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