The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have announced that they have killed a commander of a Hamas battalion who was responsible for sending terrorists into the country to carry out brutal attacks on October 7.
The IDF wrote on X that it had “eliminated Wael Asefa, Commander of Hamas’ Deir al-Batah Battalion,” as of Tuesday afternoon.
Asefa also reportedly planned additional attacks following the October 7 massacre, which coincided with the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah.
The post added that “Asefa aided in the dispatch of thousands of terrorists to assault, abduct and murder Israeli civilians on October 7th.”
In a graphic posted to social media, the IDF said the Hamas fighter had been imprisoned from 1992 to 1998 for various terrorist attacks against Israelis.
It claimed he was involved in “the incitement and promotion of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers for decades.”
It comes as a senior Hamas leader, Moussa Abu Marzouk, refused to acknowledge the group’s involvement in the killing of civilians in Israel.
Instead, he claimed that their attacks only targeted conscripted soldiers, exempting women, children, and civilians. The claim contradicts the substantial video evidence showing Hamas members shooting unarmed adults and children.
Israel has reported that more than 1,400 people, primarily civilians, were killed by Hamas in the attacks that occurred on October 7.
Marzouk, who is subject to an asset freeze in the UK under counter-terrorism regulations, spoke with the BBC from the Gulf, making him the highest-ranking member of Hamas to address the media since the October 7 attacks.
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During the interview, the BBC pressed Marzouk on the situation in Gaza, particularly concerning the numerous hostages held inside the territory. He explained that these hostages couldn’t be released while Israel was conducting bombings in Gaza. According to the Hamas-run health ministry, over 10,000 people have been killed since Israel’s operations began the previous month.
“We will release them. But we need to stop the fighting,” he said.
Marzouk revealed that he had recently traveled to Moscow to discuss the case of eight Russian-Israeli dual citizens who were abducted by Hamas on October 7.
Hamas members in Gaza reportedly located two female hostages from Russia but couldn’t secure their release due to the ongoing conflict. Marzouk said that they could only realistically release hostages if the fighting stopped, allowing them to hand the hostages over to the Red Cross.
When questioned about the events of October 7, Marzouk claimed that Mohamed el-Deif, the leader of Hamas’s Qassam Brigades military wing, had instructed his fighters not to harm women, children, or the elderly.
He argued that only reservist soldiers were the intended targets, maintaining that conscripts or soldiers were killed while women, children, and civilians were exempt from harm.
He said: “El-Deif clearly told his fighters ‘don’t kill a woman, don’t kill a child and don’t kill an old man’.”
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