The Israel Defense Forces say a top Hamas official who was “in charge of investigating suspects of espionage” against the terrorist group in the Gaza Strip has been taken out in a military operation.
The IDF said in a statement Wednesday that Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence agency helped coordinate the elimination of Bilal Nofal, and the operation was conducted using an Air Force plane.
“Nofal took part in the development of the organization’s research and learning methods,” the IDF said.
“His elimination constitutes an injury to the terrorist organization’s learning and strengthening capabilities.”
The announcement of Nofal’s death comes as the IDF says it is continuing to engage with another terrorist group – Hezbollah – along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.
On Wednesday, Israeli forces struck “terrorist infrastructure and military buildings” belonging to Hezbollah in Lebanon as well as detecting the launch of an “anti-tank missile” from Lebanese territory toward Israel, according to the IDF.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army has held a training exercise simulating an offensive in southern Lebanon.
Maj. Gen. Ori Gordin, head of the army’s Northern Command, said in a statement Tuesday, “We’re more prepared for this than ever before, even for tonight if needed.” Gordin said reserve soldiers are spread out along the border to bolster Israel’s defenses.
More than 2,000 rockets have been fired toward Israel from Lebanon, the home of Hezbollah, since the start of the war in Gaza, killing 12 Israeli soldiers and six civilians, including a mother and son on Monday. Israel’s airstrikes in Lebanon have killed around 150 militants and 20 civilians, according to Hezbollah.
Yesterday, the Israeli Kibbutz Be’eri also announced that two of its residents being held captive by Hamas in Gaza have been killed while imprisoned.
Kibbutz officials stated that Yossi Sharabi, 53, and Itai Svirsky, 38, who appeared in a new video released by Hamas on Sunday evening, the 100-day anniversary of the Oct. 7 massacre, had been killed. Their bodies are still being held by Hamas, according to kibbutz officials.