The assassination of three of Hamas’s most important military commanders in an Israeli air strike is the worst and most painful blow dealt to the movement’s armed wing, Izzadin Kassam, in recent years.
The last time Izzadin Kassam suffered a major blow was when Israel killed its general commander, Ahmed Jabari, in November 2012.
The killing of the three Hamas commanders in a pre-dawn strike on a house in Rafah came less than 48 hours after the IAF targeted a house in Gaza City where Muhammad Deif, Izzadin Kassam’s “chief of staff,” was believed to be staying together with his wife and children.
By Thursday night it was still not clear whether Deif had been killed.
But what is already clear is that the killing of the senior Hamas commanders – Raed Atar, Muhammad Abu Shamaleh and Muhammad Barhoum – and the attack on Deif’s hideout have shattered the self-confidence of the movement’s leaders.
They weren’t “assassinated.” They were killed in a military strike as a consequence of the war they started with Israel.
I’d like to see more than Hamas’s self-confidence shattered, of course. I’d like to see their bones broken into small, bloody bits.