May 20, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Eliminates Hamas Terrorist Who Used Police Role to Advance Terror Attacks

May 20, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Eliminates Hamas Terrorist Who Used Police Role to Advance Terror Attacks

Latest Developments

Israeli troops eliminated Zaher Huli, a terrorist who held roles in the Hamas police in the “central camps” area of Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on May 20. “Zaher leveraged his position to foster connections with other Hamas terrorists and promote terror attacks against the Israeli home front,” the IDF said. A second terrorist who worked in the Hamas police was also eliminated, the IDF added. Moreover, the IDF located weapons in a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) facility in Jabalya in northern Gaza, the IDF said.

The fatalities came as U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with officials in Israel. A White House readout of Sullivan’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 19 reported that Sullivan “reiterated [President Joe Biden’s] longstanding position on Rafah” and that the two sides “discussed methods to ensure the defeat of Hamas while minimizing harm to civilians.” UNRWA estimated on May 20 that 810,000 civilians had left Rafah since Israel began issuing evacuation orders on May 6.

Expert Analysis

“Within three weeks of being blindsided by Hamas’s massacre of October 7, the Israelis managed both to mobilize their forces and move a million Palestinian civilians out of the northern Gaza Strip in advance of the ground invasion. Now, they are achieving a similar feat in Rafah. The IDF is skilled at issuing detailed evacuation notices, in various formats, which the Palestinians take seriously because they know Israel wishes them no harm and will go to lengths unprecedented in warfare to spare them.” Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“The elimination of a Hamas terrorist who also had a role in the Hamas police illustrates how Hamas terrorists are entwined with the Hamas police. Throughout the war in Gaza, the Hamas police have continued to pose as if they are involved in enforcing law and order in Gaza rather than an integral part of the Hamas terrorist nexus.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

Gallant, Gantz Reassure Sullivan of Commitment to Avoid Civilian Casualties

Sullivan met with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, and separately with war cabinet minister Benny Gantz. Gallant wrote on X that he emphasized to Sullivan that it was “Israel’s duty to expand the ground operation in Rafah, to dismantle Hamas and return the abductees.” Gallant also “outlined the adjustments Israel has made to facilitate the evacuation of civilians from Rafah” and attend to their humanitarian needs, i24 reported.

Hamas Video of Two Child Hostages Found by IDF

On May 19, the IDF uncovered footage and photos of two Israeli child hostages whom Hamas filmed in October after its attack on Israel. A video showed eight-year-old Ela Elyakim, while a photo showed her with her 15-year-old sister, Dafna Elyakim. Hamas freed both girls during a temporary ceasefire in November, and they were reunited with their mother, Maayan Zin. “Ela’s family asked us to share the video with the world in order to expose the terrorism, cruelty, and barbarity of Hamas terrorists,” IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said.

Israel Recovers Another Hostage’s Body from Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief

As Israel Presses Rafah Operation, Civilians Evacuate En Masse,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Strikes Hamas Command Center Under UNRWA Complex,” FDD Flash Brief

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