December 3, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hamas Terrorist Commander Killed in Gaza

December 3, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hamas Terrorist Commander Killed in Gaza

Latest Developments

A commander of Hamas’s Shejaiya battalion, Wissam Farhat, was killed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on December 2. Farhat had engaged in terrorism since the 1990s and sent terrorists to strike Kibbutz Nahal Oz on October 7, one of many places within Israel attacked by Hamas that resulted in the massacre of 1,200 people and the capture of some 247 hostages. The latest round of fighting in Gaza began on December 1 after Hamas broke a deal to pause the conflict. Israel carried out 400 strikes on Hamas terror targets on December 1 and 2.

Expert Analysis

“Hamas commanders who played a role in the October 7 massacre of Israelis have a long track record of threatening Israel and the region. It is essential to remove these commanders in order to defeat Hamas and make sure it can never again commit atrocities. Hamas has enjoyed impunity for too long. Defeating the terrorist group means neutralizing those who carried out threats in the past and those who planned the October 7 attacks.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“Israel is not only focused on targeting Hamas leaders, but also committed to dismantling the organization’s military infrastructure by eliminating commanders who hold mid-level positions. This strategic approach hampers Hamas’s capacity to launch attacks against Israeli ground forces as they continue to move southward.” —Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Hamas Commander’s Long History of Terrorism

Wissam Farhat had a long history of terrorist activity. In 1995, he attempted to carry out a suicide bombing in Israel and was arrested, spending 10 years in prison for his crime. “Following his return to Gaza, he worked in rocket production for the Hamas terrorist organization,” the IDF said on December 2. He rose to become a Hamas battalion commander in Shejaiya. He was a mastermind behind a 2002 attack that killed five Israeli civilians and a 2011 attack on a bus near Nahal Oz that killed one Israeli child. In 2014, Farhat was responsible for the killing of six Israeli soldiers and for abducting the body of one of them, Oron Shaul. Hamas continues to hold Shaul’s body today.

Hamas Holds 137 Hostages in Gaza

Hamas terrorists hold 137 hostages in Gaza, the IDF said on December 2. On November 24, Israel and Hamas agreed to a pause in fighting and Hamas was supposed to release female and child hostages. However, the terrorist group did not release all of them. Hamas also continues to hold many male civilian hostages as well as male and female IDF soldiers.

Israel Deepens Gaza City Push,” FDD Flash Brief

Two Islamic Revolutionary Guard Killed in Reported Syria Strike by Israel,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Renews Attacks on Israel as Pause in Fighting Ends,” FDD Flash Brief


Israel Israel at War Palestinian Politics