High Ranking Hamas Official Killed, White House Says: REPORT

(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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Marwan Issa, Hamas’s third highest-ranking member in the Gaza Strip, had been successfully eliminated by Israel, the White House’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday, Haaretz, an Israeli news outlet, reported.

Sullivan acknowledged that “Israel has made significant progress against Hamas” and mentioned the death of Issa “in an Israeli operation last week” and other “senior commanders” as one example of such military successes, the Israeli news outlet noted. (RELATED: Netanyahu Defies Biden, Green Lights Offensive Into Hamas Stronghold)

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) noted that it had targeted Issa, who was the “deputy of Mohammad Deif [head of Hamas’ military wing] and one of the planners of the Oct. 7 Massacre,” in an airstrike “on an underground compound” but previously tweeted on March 11 that they were “assessing the results of the strike and will inform the public of them when we are certain.”

Hamas has reportedly acknowledged the death of Issa behind closed doors and that his corpse was still buried amid the rubble caused by the airstrike, Kan News reported citing Palestinian sources, The Jerusalem Post noted. The IDF stated that no hostages were nearby when they struck, the outlet reported. Sullivan’s statement therefore appears to be the first open acknowledgement of the Hamas leader’s demise.

Issa is not the only Hamas leader to be killed in recent days. Faiq Mabhouh, the head of the Operations Directorate of Hamas’ Internal Security, Monday during an intense battle at the Shifa hospital where the Hamas commander was operating from and directing “terrorist activity,” according to a tweet by the IDF.

A total of 40 Hamas gunmen were killed inside the hospital premises or nearby in the IDF raid, The Times of Israel reported. One Israeli soldier was killed in the operation, the outlet noted. Hospitals are regarded as protected areas under international law but this law has exceptions, the International Committee of the Red Cross’s website noted.

One exception includes when one party to a conflict uses the hospital outside its humanitarian purposes, the outlet said. Those conflicts can include using the hospital as a military observation post, a weapons despot, a military communication center and a base to launch attacks or to shield able-bodied troops.