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Israeli airstrike ‘kills Hamas commander who set up terror group’s paraglider unit used to carry out October 7 atrocities’


An Israeli airstrike has killed a Hamas commander who set up the terror group’s paraglider unit used to carry out October 7 assault, the IDF said.

Army officials confirmed this morning that Nasim Abu Ajina, the commander of the Beit Lahia Battalion of Hamas’ Northern Brigade, died in an airstrike in Gaza on Monday night.

Footage shared by the IDF showed Israeli jets striking his home with a series of large explosions visible.

Abu Ajina was responsible for the October 7 invasion, that saw around 1,400 killed and 239 taken hostage, with paragliders descending on the Nova music festival near kibbutz Re’im at dawn and slaughtering scores of revellers. 

Festivalgoers saw people fall around them as more than 250 were killed in the surprise cross-border attack that precipitated the worst for decades in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Army officials confirmed this morning that Nasim Abu Ajina, the commander of the Beit Lahia Battalion of Hamas' Northern Brigade, died in an airstrike on Monday night.

Army officials confirmed this morning that Nasim Abu Ajina, the commander of the Beit Lahia Battalion of Hamas’ Northern Brigade, died in an airstrike on Monday night.

Footage shared by the IDF showed Israeli jets striking his home with a series of large explosions visible.

Footage shared by the IDF showed Israeli jets striking his home with a series of large explosions visible.

Abu Ajina had previously headed the terrorist group’s aerial units and contributed to the development of its UAVs and paragliders, YNet reports.

A statement by the IDF and Israel’s security agency Shin Bet said Abu Ajina’s death is a significant blow to the Hamas’s ability to disrupt IDF operations on the ground.

Israel said its forces attacked Hamas gunmen inside the terrorist’s vast tunnel network beneath the Palestinian enclave of Gaza over the last day. 

The tunnels are a prime objective for Israel as it expands ground operations inside Gaza to wipe out Hamas, which rules Gaza, following its deadly surprise attack on southern Israel three weeks ago.

‘Over the last day, combined IDF (Israel Defense Forces) struck approximately 300 targets, including anti-tank missile and rocket launch posts below shafts, as well as military compounds inside underground tunnels belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization,’ the Israeli military said in a statement.

Terrorists responded with anti-tank missiles and machine gun fire, it added.

‘The soldiers killed terrorists and directed air forces to real-time strikes on targets and terror infrastructure,’ the Israeli military said. 

Israeli troops and Hamas militants today engaged in fierce battles in Gaza, where the dire humanitarian crisis spiralled and tearful Palestinian families scoured rubble in a desperate search for loved ones.

Footage from the Israeli military showed tanks and armoured bulldozers churning up bomb-scarred dirt tracks and troops searching shattered buildings for Hamas militants and the 240 hostages still missing.

Israel struck 300 targets during its fourth night of land operations in northern Gaza, launched after the bloodiest attack in its history when Hamas gunmen killed some 1,400 in a brutal cross-border raid, according to Israeli officials.

The army said its forces were ‘engaged in fierce battles with Hamas deep inside the Gaza Strip,’ killing dozens of terrorists.

Warplanes kept up a relentless barrage of strikes on Gaza, where the bombing campaign has now killed 8,525, according to the latest count given by the Hamas-run health ministry, many of them children.

Panic swept through the crowd who were partying  in the north-western Negev desert, about 5 miles from the city of Ofakim

Panic swept through the crowd who were partying  in the north-western Negev desert, about 5 miles from the city of Ofakim.

Israeli festivalgoers run for their lives through the desert after being warned of an incoming rocket attack just as Hamas invaded the country on Saturday

Israeli festivalgoers run for their lives through the desert after being warned of an incoming rocket attack just as Hamas invaded the country on Saturday

The ministry later said another 50 people had died in an Israeli strike on the Jabalia refugee camp.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed growing international calls for a ceasefire, saying it would be ‘surrender’ to the Hamas group he has vowed to destroy.

Hamas also released footage of battles within Gaza, including what it said was a military vehicle on fire.

None of this footage could be independently verified but AFP images showed plumes of smoke rising above Gaza and Israeli helicopters raining down rockets on the northern Gaza Strip.

The humanitarian toll has sparked a global backlash, with aid groups and the United Nations warning time is running out for many of the territory’s 2.4 million people denied access to food, water, fuel and medicine.

Palestinians search for casualties at the site of Israeli strikes on houses in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, October 31, 2023.

Palestinians search for casualties at the site of Israeli strikes on houses in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, October 31, 2023.

Palestinians search for casualties at the site of Israeli strikes on houses in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, October 31, 2023.

Palestinians search for casualties at the site of Israeli strikes on houses in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, October 31, 2023.

Palestinians search for casualties at the site of Israeli strikes on houses in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, October 31, 2023.

Palestinians search for casualties at the site of Israeli strikes on houses in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, October 31, 2023.

Relatives of the Palestinians, who lost their lives after Israeli attacks, mourn as the bodies are carried for burial from Indonesian Hospital on the 25th day Gaza City, Gaza on October 31, 2023.

Relatives of the Palestinians, who lost their lives after Israeli attacks, mourn as the bodies are carried for burial from Indonesian Hospital on the 25th day Gaza City, Gaza on October 31, 2023.

A man carries an injured Palestinian child as Israeli attacks continue on the 25th day at Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza City, Gaza on October 31, 2023

A man carries an injured Palestinian child as Israeli attacks continue on the 25th day at Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza City, Gaza on October 31, 2023

‘Gaza has become a graveyard for thousands of children. It’s a living hell for everyone else,’ said children’s aid agency UNICEF, urging an ‘immediate humanitarian ceasefire’.

Surgeons are conducting amputations on hospital floors without anaesthetic, and children are forced to drink salty water, said Jean-Francois Corty, vice-president of Medecins Sans Frontieres, which has 20 staff on the ground.

Israel has accused Hamas of using hospitals as military headquarters and civilians as ‘human shields’, charges the group dismisses as ‘baseless’ propaganda.

As even Israel’s staunchest allies voiced concern about the humanitarian crisis in southern Gaza, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA said there was not nearly enough aid to meet the ‘unprecedented’ needs.

‘When an eight-year-old tells you that she doesn’t want to die, it’s hard not to feel helpless,’ said UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths.

Hisham Adwan, Gaza director of the Rafah crossing with Egypt where some aid has been allowed in, said 36 trucks had been waiting there since the previous day.

‘I feel that it’s extremely slow and there’s disruption to UNRWA’s work, and we don’t know why,’ he said.

Israel said it is inspecting cargo to make sure weapons are not being smuggled in, and monitoring to guarantee Hamas does not seize the supplies.

A picture taken from Israel's southern city of Sderot shows smoke rising during Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip on October 31, 2023,

A picture taken from Israel’s southern city of Sderot shows smoke rising during Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip on October 31, 2023,

This picture taken on October 31, 2023 from a position along the border with the Gaza Strip in southern Israel shows smoke plumes billowing during Israeli bombardment amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement

This picture taken on October 31, 2023 from a position along the border with the Gaza Strip in southern Israel shows smoke plumes billowing during Israeli bombardment amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement 

The incursion scored an early victory Monday: the rescue of Private Ori Megidish, an Israeli soldier in Hamas captivity who was reunited with her family.

But there was heartbreak for relatives of another missing woman, 23-year-old German-Israeli Shani Louk, abducted from a music festival then ‘tortured and paraded around Gaza,’ according to Israel’s foreign ministry.

Her remains were found Monday, with her sister Adi voicing her ‘great sorrow’ as she shared news of her death on social media.

Other families have endured an unbearable wait for news of relatives seized by Hamas militants and thought to be held in a labyrinth of tunnels in Gaza.

Hadas Kalderon walked through the scorched homes of the Nir Oz kibbutz, near Israel’s border with Gaza, where gunmen killed her mother and niece and kidnapped her 12-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter.

‘I don’t have any control and knowledge about army actions, I just know my children are still there in the middle of a war,’ said the 56-year-old.

‘It’s a disaster. It’s really hell. There is no word to express this.’

Hamas on Monday released a video of what it said were three women hostages, seated against a tile wall. One urged Israel to agree to a Hamas-demanded prisoner swap.

Netanyahu dismissed the clip, the time and place of which could not be verified, as ‘cruel psychological propaganda’.

Meanwhile, in a sign that the conflict risked spiralling throughout the region, Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels fired drones and missiles towards Israel and vowed to keep up attacks.

Israel’s army also said it had intercepted a missile fired from the Red Sea region.

Israel’s military has struck targets in Syria and traded cross-border fire with Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, whose caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati told AFP it was his ‘duty to prevent Lebanon from entering the war.’

Anis Abla, head of Lebanon’s Civil Defense Centre in Marjayoun, near the Israeli border, said they were completely unprepared for war.

‘Our equipment is very primitive and there is a shortage of all tools, such as fire suits and extinguisher cylinders,’ he said.



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