The IDF and Hamas continued to trade blows with each other over the Shavuot holiday, with large areas of Israel’s South under rocket attack and the Israel Air Force bombing numerous Islamist targets in the Gaza Strip.
Senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commander Hasam Abu Harbid was killed in an Israeli airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday afternoon.
The IDF said that Abu-Harbid, who was killed in a joint operation with the Shin Bet intelligence agency, had commanded the northern Gaza Strip division of PIJ since 2019 when his predecessor Baha abu el-Atta was killed in a targeted assassination by the IDF.
Abu-Harbid, who had been a dominant operative in the terrorist group for the past 15 years, was behind the shooting and launching of rockets and anti-tank guided missiles that wounded Israeli civilians.
Following his killing, a salvo of rockets were launched towards Israeli communities near the border as well as Ashdod, Ashkelon, Kiryat Malachi and Beersheba. One home sustained a direct hit in Ashdod and three people were lightly wounded.
IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman told reporters that shortly after the killing of Abu-Harbid, the military targeted a car near the Gazan beach in the northern sector of the Strip where operatives were preparing to launch an autonomous submersible naval vessel.
“We recognized preparations for a maritime attack,” Zilberman said, adding that the vessel had been brought down to the beach and was on its way to carry out “a terror attack in Israeli waters” when it was struck and totally destroyed. Several operatives who had been in the car were killed.
The IAF also hit hundreds of kilometers of Hamas’s “Metro” underground tunnel network for the third time early in the morning on Monday. Striking 15 km. of what it called the “C” line, the attack was “part of a broad operation by the IDF to significantly damage the underground system of terror organizations in Gaza,” it said.
The attack included 54 fighter jets that dropped some 110 precision munitions on 35 targets in 20 minutes.
On Friday, the IAF launched strikes in “Phase B” against the Metro under north, western and central Gaza with dozens of planes and some 100 precision munitions.
According to the spokesman, Hamas has spent tens of millions of dollars on constructing this strategic asset.
“Every meter of the tunnel cost around $500, [so] one kilometer cost half a million dollars,” he said. “You can imagine what else they could have spent the money on.”
IAF jets also hit 14 residences they claim belonged to high-ranking Hamas commanders that were used as terror infrastructure and to store weapons. The homes that were hit included those of the Beit Hanun battalion commander and of company commanders in Beit Hanun, the Sabra battalion in Gaza City and the Shati battalion.
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Source: Jerusalem Post