50 Dead in Rafah as Israel Targets Hamas Leaders, Say Palestinians


Palestinian sources reported that 50 individuals, including civilians, were killed as Israel executed an airstrike on Sunday night in Rafah, targeting several key Hamas commanders.

Earlier this evening, an IAF aircraft, in an IDF and ISA intelligence-based strike, eliminated the terrorist Yassin Rabia, the Commander of Hamas’ leadership in Judea and Samaria, as well as Khaled Nagar, a senior official in Hamas’ Judea and Samaria wing.

The strike was executed in the area of Tal as Sultan, in northwest Rafah, based on accurate intelligence.

Hamas’ Judea and Samaria wing is accountable for planning, funding, and performing terror attacks throughout Judea and Samaria and within Israel.

The terrorist Yassin Rabia managed the entirety of Hamas’ terrorist activity in Judea and Samaria, transferred funds to terror objectives, and planned Hamas terror attacks throughout Judea and Samaria. In the past, Rabia executed multiple deadly terror attacks, including those in 2001 and 2002, resulting in IDF soldiers’ deaths.

The terrorist Khaled Nagar, a senior official in Hamas’ Judea and Samaria Headquarters, directed shooting attacks and other terrorist activities in Judea and Samaria, and transferred funds meant for Hamas’ terrorist activities in the Gaza Strip. Previously, Khaled Nagar carried out several deadly terror attacks between 2001-2003, leading to several Israeli civilians’ deaths and the injury and death of several Israeli soldiers.

The IDF is aware of reports indicating that as a result of the strike and subsequent fire, multiple civilians in the vicinity were harmed. The incident is under examination.

The IDF expressed regret for “any harm to noncombatants during the war.” It also stated that the airstrike targeted legitimate objectives under international law, employing precise munitions and based on precise intelligence that suggested Hamas’ utilization of the area.

Following media reports of women and children killed in an airstrike and subsequent fire, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced that its prosecutor would investigate the incident.

The high number of civilian fatalities appears to be due to the Hamas commanders’ presence in or near a camp for displaced Palestinians, located near a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) facility, as reported by various sources.

Some skeptical Israeli outlets, notably Abu Ali Express (above), suggested that Hamas aimed to exploit Western sensitivity to fatalities in Rafah, particularly following the Biden administration’s expressed disapproval of Israeli actions in the region for several months and after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled Friday that Israel must cease its attacks there. The ICJ possesses no independent enforcement mechanism and is considered by Israelis to be biased against Israel.

Hamas is recognized for using civilians as “human shields” to deter attacks on its leadership, militants, and infrastructure, understanding that if Israel does strike, it will incur an international diplomatic cost, potentially deterring future operations.

Joel B. Pollak
Joel B. Pollak
South African-American conservative political commentator, writer, radio host, and attorney.

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