Mission Brief: Dispatch #4
What Really Happened at Jabaliya
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Yesterday the Israeli Air Force successfully targeted Ibrahim Bihari, a senior Hamas commander in Jabaliya, together with dozens of other Hamas terrorists.
In today’s Mission Brief, I want to explain who Ibrahim Bihari was, why he was a high-value target, what the results of the strike can teach us about Hamas’ tactics and why Western countries everywhere must pay attention to this.
Let’s start with Ibrahim Bihari
Bihari is a career terrorist. His involvement in terrorism dates back to the Second Intifada, in the early 2000s. He personally planned the terror attack at the Port of Ashdod port which killed 10 Israelis civilians and wounded over a dozen others.
Memorial to the Victims of the 2004 Ashdod Port Port Bombing
Source: Avishai Teicher via the PikiWiki - Israel free image collection project
Bihari has been actively involved in killing Israelis since.
Most recently, Bihari, now the the Commander of Hamas' Central Jabaliya Battalion, played a role in the October 7th massacre, deploying Hamas “Nukbha” terrorists - Hamas’ elite commando forces - from the northern Gaza Strip into Israeli communities to butcher men, women and children. Since Israel began to respond to these attacks, Bihari has overseen Hamas’ battle efforts in northern Gaza. He was not “just another terrorist.”
Tunneling Under Civilians: Bihari’s Human Shields
On October 31st, Israeli intelligence and the Israeli Security Agency (the Shabak) were able to confirm that Bihari was hiding with dozens of other operatives in a Hamas building in Jabaliya. So the Israeli Air Force targeted them, part of our efforts to dismantle Hamas and ensure that the massacres of October 7th never repeat themselves.
This is where the tunnels come in.
Bihari - and Hamas’ leadership as a whole - rely on a vast network of tunnels and underground infrastructure to hide underneath Gazan civilians and execute attacks. These tunnels are, of course, never used by Gazan civilians. As Abu Markzouk, a Hamas leader, recently said:
Protecting Gaza civilians is the responsibility of the UN and Israel…We have built the tunnels to protect ourselves from getting targeted and killed. These are meant to protect us from the airplanes.
Bihari - the murderous terrorist who commanded parts of the October 7th attack - was killed in the air force strike.
But I want to focus here on the aftermath of the strike and the consequences of Hamas’ urban tactics.
We’ve been explaining for weeks that Hamas embeds itself deeply in civilian infrastructure, sinking millions of dollars and massive resources into underground networks rather than investing it in the people of Gaza. As a result of the subterranean infrastructure, the building that was targeted collapsed, as did other buildings in the area. The same network built to protect Hamas, not Gazan civilians, now was directly responsible for civilians’ death.
Hamas started this war. And Hamas turned its back on the people of Gaza.
Hamas exploited the people of Gaza, tunneling under their cities for their own defense. Hamas prevented civilians from heeding the IDF’s calls on them to evacuate to southern Gaza, to remain out of the line of fire. And Hamas actively seeks to amplify Gazan casualties to garner international support in defense of their horrific war crimes that left over 1,400 Israelis dead and some 240 in captivity.
Our war is not with the people of Gaza. The Palestinian people deserve peace and safety. Instead they are exploited as shields. The people of Israel deserve to live without the looming threat of Hamas. Instead, they are - and remain - targeted.
Israel - and the people of Gaza - deserve to live free of Hamas.
Yesterday was a day of intense combat in Gaza, as the IDF continues to dismantle Hamas and protect the people of Israel. The IDF accomplished some important objectives, killing dozens of terrorists and advancing in Gaza. Our hearts and prayers are with the families of the 12 IDF soldiers who have been killed in action over the past day and wishes a quick recovery to the wounded. Their sacrifice and bravery will never be forgotten.
An expanded version of this is available on the IDF website.
During battles yesterday (Tuesday), IDF troops identified several Hamas terrorists who barricaded themselves in a multi-story building - located near a school, medical center, and government offices - in the area of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip. IDF troops directed the IAF to strike the terrorists.
IDF forces also attacked and seized a terrorist stronghold in western Jabaliya, killing some fifty terrorists in the process. The area contained firing positions, terror tunnels used for passageway to the coast, and a large stock of weapons used by the terrorists. The forces in the area destroyed entrances to terror tunnels, weapons, and military equipment. In addition, the soldiers located intelligence documents in the compound. At the end of the activity, the forces secured the compound.
Since October 7th, we have struck over 11,000 targets belonging to terror organizations in Gaza
IDF troops identified a vehicle with anti-tank missiles driving toward the forces operating in the Gaza Strip. The troops called in aerial support which targeted the vehicle.
After a situational assessment, Israeli Navy missile boats arrived in the Red Sea as part of our defensive efforts in the area.
Last night the IDF intercepted a surface-to-air missile that was launched from Lebanese territory toward an IDF UAV. In response, IAF aircraft struck the origin of the missile launch, as well as the terrorists who carried out the launch.
Quote of the Day
“Southern Command stations, commander speaking. We are launching an attack on Hamas and the terror groups in the Gaza Strip. Our goal is one, victory. No matter how long the fighting will be, how difficult, there is no other result but victory. ”
Head of the Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman, speaking to his troops before they entered Gaza
What I’m Reading
These are interesting articles I’ve recently come across. By sharing them I am not endorsing them, their points of view, or the veracity of information therein. They’re just interesting articles I came across.
The Hamas Propaganda War - The New Yorker
A look at how Hamas’ videos of hostages are received by different audiences across the world.
Poor Gaza, Rich Hamas - Globes
Hamas doesn’t use all of its money on tunnels and rockets - millions of dollars end up in the accounts of Sinwar, Mashal, and other terror leaders.