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Hamas commanders killed by IDF as Israel orders fresh evacuation of Gaza City

Israel claimed to have killed two leading members of Hamas during an operation in the “centre of the Gaza Strip” it led this week.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed in a statement shared on X to have eliminated Hassan Abu Kuayk, described as the head of the security operations department in the Central Camps District.

The statement continued: “Hassan was a military activist and an activist in the movement’s emergency committee who led many terrorist acts against the State of Israel.

“In addition, the terrorist Nasser Mahana, team leader in the military intelligence of the terrorist organisation Hamas, was killed.”

This comes after Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said his country had “eliminated or injured” 60 percent of Hamas’s fighting force.

The “vast majority” of the terrorist groups’ battalions, he also claimed, have been “dismantled”.

News of this operation, led with aircraft jointly by the IDF and Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet, also came as the Israeli military told Palestinians to leave Gaza City by dropping leaflets over the city.

The force, which branded the area a “dangerous combat zone”, had announced a few days prior a new offensive in the region.

The IDF had withdrawn from the city in January, but has since returned for fresh targeted raids after Hamas fighters regrouped in some areas where the military presence was low.

The United Nations estimates that hundreds of thousands of people still live in northern Gaza and Gaza City, despite these being among the first areas to be involved in the ground operation Israel launched in the autumn of 2023.

Nine months into the war, most of the 2.3 million people living in the strip have been displaced and escaped to areas marked as “safe zones” by the Israeli military.

The Hamas-run Interior Ministry issued a statement Wednesday advising people to ignore the evacuation order and instead “move to a place close to your area of residence” if in danger.


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