On November 26, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas Movement, confirmed that four of its senior commanders were killed in recent Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip.
In a statement, the brigades said Ahmed Ghandour, a member of Hamas’ military council and the commander of its northern Gaza brigade; Ayman Siam, the head of Hamas’s rocket firing array; and Wael Rajab and Raafat Salman were killed.
Reports of Ghandour’s death first appeared in Hebrew media on November 14. Later on November 16, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said that it had struck an underground site in Gaza where a number of senior Hamas commanders were hiding, including Ghandour and Siam. However, the military didn’t confirm that the two were killed.
Very little is known about Rajab and Sulman, who reportedly held senior positions in the brigades and its security arm. The IDF didn’t announce that the two were targeted or killed.
The bodies of the four commanders were most likely recovered by Hamas during the ongoing temporary ceasefire in Gaza.
By the time the ceasefire entered into effect on November 24, Israeli strikes on Gaza had claimed the lives of 14,854 people, wounded more than 36,000 and left another 7,000 missing. It is unknown how many of the casualties were actually members of Hamas. However, it is confirmed that the majority were women and children.
Despite losing a number of their commanders, the command and control chain of Hamas appears to be operating as efficiently as before.