Tel Aviv [Israel], November 19 (ANI/TPS): Hamas confirmed on Friday that Ahmed Behar, the terror group's number-three figure and highest-ranking person eliminated since October 7, was killed in an Israeli air strike earlier in the week.
The death of Behar and other senior figures suggest that Hamas has lost control over the northern Gaza Strip amid the attrition of its leadership.
The 76-year-old Behar, a member of Hamas's ruling politburo, was a close associate of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
Israeli air strikes over the weekend targeted a number of other high-level Hamas figures, said Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari on Saturday night.
Ahmed Randor, who commanded Hamas's northern brigade, and Ahmed Siam, the commander of Hamas' rocket brigade, were in an underground bunker struck by Israel, Hagari said. Randor is number three in Hamas's military hierarchy and helped plan the abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006.
In another underground bunker hit by Israel were Asam Dalyis, head of the Hamas government, and Raukhi Mushta and Sameh Sarraj, both of whom are close associates of Hamas's Gaza strongman, Yahya Sinwar.
Mushta was among the 1,027 security prisoners released by Israel in the Shalit prisoner exchange of 2011 and has been described as Sinwar's right-hand man.
Sarraj was the founder of Hamas offensive cyber unit which operates from Turkey and managed it remotely, from the Gaza Strip.
Other senior Hamas personalities killed in recent days include Iman Siam who headed the terror group's missile array, Atsam Dealis, who served as the de facto Prime Minister of Hamas, and Matzafa Suaf, a publicist and senior journalist Hamas's service.
The Hamas politburo, which is Sinwar's main source of power suffered severe blows when seven of its people were eliminated, including Osama Mazini, who also served as chairman of the Shura Council of Hamas, Gamila Shanti, Zakaria Abu Ma'amer and Jawad Abu Shamala.
Israeli officials believe that Hamas has lost control over the northern Gaza Strip as outposts collapse and commanders are killed or flee to southern Gaza.
As the Israeli military shifts its attention to southern Gaza, it is expected that the next focus of fighting will be in Khan Yunis, the Strip's second largest city and a Sinwar stronghold. (ANI/TPS)