Hamas announces four senior military commanders have been killed

Hamas announces four senior military commanders have been killed in war with Israel

Four senior Hamas chiefs including a high-ranking military leader in charge of northern Gaza have been killed in the war with Israel, it was claimed today.

The terror group announced the death of Ahmed al-Ghandour, without providing further details.

He was in charge of northern Gaza and a member of Hamas’ top military council, and is the highest-ranking militant known to have been killed in the fighting.

Al-Ghandour, believed to have been around 56 years old, had survived at least three Israeli attempts on his life, and helped plan a cross-border attack in 2006 in which Palestinian militants captured an Israeli soldier, according to the Counter Extremism Project, an advocacy group based in Washington.

Hamas said he was killed along with three other senior militants, including Ayman Siam, who Israel says was in charge of Hamas’ rocket-firing unit. 

The terror group announced the death of Ahmed al-Ghandour, without providing further details

The Israeli military had mentioned both men in a statement on November 16, saying it had targeted an underground complex where Hamas leaders were hiding and accusing the group of concealing their deaths.

READ MORE: Emily Hand’s father vows to throw ‘biggest party ever’ to mark the ninth birthday the Irish girl spent as a Hamas hostage

The Israeli military claims to have killed thousands of militants, without providing evidence, including several mid-ranking commanders it has identified by name.

It comes as the tense cease-fire between Israel and Hamas appeared to be back on track early this morning after the release of a second group of militant-held hostages and Palestinians from Israeli prisons, but the swap followed an hours-long delay that underscored the truce’s fragility.

The exchange was delayed Saturday evening after Hamas accused Israel of violating the agreement, which has brought the first significant pause in seven weeks of war marked by the deadliest Israeli-Palestinian violence in decades, vast destruction and displacement across the Gaza Strip, and a hostage crisis that has shaken Israel.

Qatar and Egypt, which mediate with Hamas, announced late Saturday that the obstacles to the exchange had been overcome. The militants released 17 hostages, including 13 Israelis, while Israel freed 39 Palestinian prisoners.

Thousands of people gathered in central Tel Aviv late Saturday to call for the release of all the estimated 240 people captured by Hamas in its Oct. 7 rampage across southern Israel, which ignited the war. 

They accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of not doing enough to bring them back.

Pictured: 13 hostages released by Hamas on Friday: (from left to right, top to bottom) Adina Moshe, Margalit Mozes, , Danielle Aloni and her daughter Emilia, Doron Asher and her daughters Raz and Aviv, Chana Katzir, Keren Munder and her son Ohad, Ruth Munder, Yaffa Adar, Chana Perry

Nine-year-old Irish girl Emily Hand has been reunited with her devoted father, who has vowed to mark her latest birthday with the ‘biggest party ever 

Pressure from the hostages’ families has sharpened the dilemma facing the country’s leaders, who seek to eliminate Hamas as a military and governing power while returning all the captives.

READ MORE: Family of Israeli woman freed by Hamas says hostages ‘thought they were being taken to be executed’

The war has already claimed the lives of more than 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians killed by Hamas in the initial attack. 

More than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed, roughly two thirds of them women and minors, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza.

The four-day cease-fire, which began Friday, was brokered by Qatar, Egypt and the United States. 

Hamas is to release at least 50 Israeli hostages, and Israel 150 Palestinian prisoners. All are women and minors.

Israel has said the truce can be extended by an extra day for every additional 10 hostages freed, but has vowed to quickly resume its offensive once it ends. 

Israel said early Sunday that it had received a new list of hostages slated to be released later in the day, in the third of four scheduled swaps.

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