May 23, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israeli Tunnel Warfare Specialists Kill Hamas Commander Underground

May 23, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israeli Tunnel Warfare Specialists Kill Hamas Commander Underground

Latest Developments

Israeli tunnel specialists killed a Hamas commander in an operation underground, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on May 23. Hussein Fiad, commander of the Palestinian terrorist group’s Beit Hanoun Battalion, was located through intelligence supplied by the Shin Bet agency and killed in Jabalya, a neighboring district in the northern Gaza Strip that Israeli special forces re-entered this month.

The operation was carried out by Yahalom, an elite underground warfare unit in the IDF’s Combat Engineering Corps.

Yahalom has spearheaded the operations in Beit Hanoun and Jabalya where, on May 16, it found the bodies of four Hamas hostages in a 30-foot-deep tunnel and extricated them.

A Yahalom reservist was killed by the collapse of a Beit Hanoun building from a booby-trapped bomb on May 22.

Expert Analysis

“After being blindsided by this war, Israel was at first wary of sending its troops into the below-ground terror fortress that Palestinian terrorists had set up throughout the Gaza Strip, under the cover of civilian infrastructure. The IDF made do with stand-off tools such as mapping robots and sniffer dogs. But the tables soon turned, and now the Israelis are going down and hunting Hamas in its own lair. Hopefully, these capabilities can be used to rescue live hostages.” Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“As Israel has increased operations in the northern and southern Gaza Strip, intelligence gathered on the ground is yielding important information, revealing the whereabouts of commanders belonging to terrorist organizations. While Israel must eliminate senior Hamas members directing the battle against Israel, it’s noteworthy to highlight that there are more than a dozen terrorist organizations in Gaza fighting the IDF. By targeting commanders belonging to the supporting groups, Israel may be able to weaken Hamas’s ability to sustain its fight in the long-term.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Israel Eliminates Hamas Terrorist Who Used Police Role to Advance Terror Attacks,” FDD Flash Brief

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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Israel Israel at War