The Israeli military claimed Tuesday that it had taken out a top Hamas commander — who was one of the leaders of the October 7 attack on Israel — in a strike on the Jabalya refugee camp.
"A short while ago, IDF fighter jets, acting on ISA intelligence, killed Ibrahim Biari, the Commander of Hamas' Central Jabaliya Battalion. Biari was one of the leaders responsible for sending 'Nukbha' terrorist operatives to Israel to carry out the murderous terror attack on October 7th. Numerous Hamas terrorists were hit in the strike," the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.
Spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said earlier that the IDF was targeting “a very senior Hamas commander" in the area around the camp.
The IDF said Biari oversaw all military operations in the northern Gaza Strip since it began its ground operation and was also involved in multiple attacks on Israel going back decades.
The IDF said it had carried out a wide-scale strike on terrorists and terror infrastructure belonging to the Central Jabalya Battalion, which it said had taken control of civilian buildings. As part of the strike, Hamas’ command and control and its ability to direct military activity against IDF soldiers in Gaza were damaged.
The IDF also said "a large number of terrorists" were killed in the strike, which also led to the collapse of the underground infrastructure they were using.
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that it “condemns in the strongest terms the new massacre committed by the occupation against our people in the Jabalya camp,” referencing “chilling documented scenes” of children and women.
What Hamas is saying: Hamas, however, denied Israeli assertions regarding the presence of one of its leaders in the camp, spokesperson Hazem Qassem said in a statement.
Qassem accused Israel of attempting to justify what he described as a "heinous crime against safe civilians, children, and women in Jabalya camp."
Jabalya is the largest of the Gaza Strip's eight refugee camps, according to the main United Nations agency supporting Palestinians in the territory. Photos of the site showed multiple large craters in the ground, surrounded by the rubble of destroyed and damaged buildings.