January 3, 2009


Hamas Senior Military Commanders Killed By IAF

Senior Hamas Military Commander Mohammed Ma’aruf was killed in an Israeli Air Force strike on Saturday, January 3, 2009. Also killed was Abu Zakaria al-Jamal, another senior military figure in the terrorist group’s armed wing.

According to the IDF, a vehicle transporting Ma’aruf and an additional Hamas operative in Khan Younis Gaza was successfully targeted.   Ma’aruf was a senior member of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the terrorist group’s military wing, and was an officer in the terror organization’s ground forces.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has extensive background information on Hamas’ military wing (although individuals named may have been killed, or operational details of the terrorist group may have changed):

In the past few years, especially since the disengagement, Hamas’s military-terrorist infrastructure has gradually transformed itself into a hierarchical structure with semi-military patterns of action. That change means the unification of local terrorist networks throughout the Gaza Strip into one military wing with an orderly structure which has adopted military components both in its commanding and directing the forces and support systems (manufacturing, acquiring and smuggling weapons, etc.).

However, it is not a classic military organization, and under fire Hamas can be expected to employ the principles of asymmetric warfare: the operation of small fighting units (platoons and squads), focusing on hit and run attacks, blending in with and disappearing into the civilian population, making extensive use of civilians as human shields, etc.

Hamas’s military wing includes territorial brigades and designated units deployed throughout the Gaza Strip, each of which has more than 1,000 operatives. Each brigade has a number of battalions and each battalion has several companies. Each company has three platoons composed of three combat teams (including fighters, anti-tank operatives, saboteurs, medics).

The brigades are deployed as follows:

  1. A brigade in northern sector, commanded by Ahmed Ghandour.
  2. The Gaza City sector, which apparently has two brigades commanded by Ahmed Ja’abari.
  3. A brigade in the central sector, commanded by Ayman Nawfal (today detained by the Egyptians).
  4. A brigade in the southern sector, which apparently has two brigades (in accordance with geographical conditions), one in Khan Yunis, commanded by Muhammad Sinwar, and the other in Rafah, commanded by Ra’ed al–Attar.

Ordinarily, as noted above, the Izz al–Din al–Qassam Brigades have a few hundred skilled operatives. They attack civilian targets in Israel (firing rockets and mortar  shells) and military targets bordering the Gaza Strip (firing mortar shells, light weapons fire, planting IEDs, attempts to carry out mass-killing attacks and abduct soldiers in Israeli territory).

Source: The Hamas Terror Organization – 2007 Update, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs

You can learn more about Hamas’ military wing here:

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