By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency
UPDATED: Jerusalem, Israel — May 12, 2021 … Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, addressed the Israeli public with statements also made by the Israel Defense Minister, the IDF Chief-of-Staff and the head of the ISA.
“We are in the midst of a major campaign – Operation Guardian of the Walls,” said Netanyahu. “Yesterday and today, the IDF attacked hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. We have eliminated dozens of terrorists, including senior commanders. We have bombed Hamas command centers and toppled buildings that serve the terrorist organizations. We will continue to attack with all force.”
“We have just finished a consultation and assessment of the situation with the heads of the security establishment and we made decisions. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have paid and – I tell you here – will pay a very heavy price for their aggression. I say here this evening – their blood is on their heads.”
“Citizens of Israel, we stand united against a reprehensible enemy. We all grieve for those who have been killed. We all pray for the wellbeing of the wounded. We all stand behind the IDF and the security forces.”
Netanyahu concluded: “I ask everyone, without exception, to strictly follow the directives of Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command and enter protected spaces, this saves lives. I tell you something else this evening. This campaign will take time. With determination, unity and strength, we will restore security to the citizens of Israel.”
Netanyahu Comments on Joint IDF-ISA Operation that Targeted Four Senior Hamas Commanders
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated: “I congratulate the Israel Security Agency, the Air Force, Southern Command and the Israel Defense Forces for the operation that targeted senior Hamas commanders.
Whoever attacks us – his blood is on his head.”
ISA: Four Senior Hamas Commanders Targeted in Joint ISA-IDF Operation
(Communicated by the Israeli Security Agency)
A joint ISA-IDF operation targeted senior members of the Hamas “General Staff Forum” including the Gaza City Brigade commander, the head of the cyber command and improving Hamas’s missiles and the head of its production network.
Following are the four senior commanders who were targeted in the attack:
1. Bassem Issa – Gaza City Brigade commander since 2017 and senior military official in the city. Over the years he had been involved in many terrorist attacks and also served as a leader in the organization’s production network. He led previous rounds of fighting with Israel. Targeting him will significantly affect the functioning of the brigade and of Hamas’s military arm.
2. Jamaa Tahla – Head of Hamas’s cyber command, leader of its missile improvement project and head of its R&D department. He was Muhammad Deif’s right-hand man a main leader of the effort to build up the organization’s strength; targeting him is a significant blow to that effort.
3. Jamal Zebeda – Head of projects and development for Hamas’s production network, was a main force behind the organization’s rocket production network. He held a Ph.D in mechanical engineering with a specialty in aerodynamics. He had various technological skills, was one of Hamas’s leading R&D experts and was also engaged in advancing projects to build up the organization’s strength.
4. Hazzem Hatib – Chief engineer and deputy head of Hamas’s production network.
Other senior figures who were killed in the attack during which Hamas’s main R&D facility, including much equipment, was destroyed:
Sami Radwan – Head of the military intelligence technical department
Walid Smali – Head of the production network industrial equipment department
Approximately ten additional terrorists from the Hamas production and R&D networks were also killed.