The head of Hamas’ aerial unit, Issam Abu Rukbeh, was killed in an overnight airstrike, as confirmed by the Israel Defence Forces and Shin Bet security services.
Abu Rukbeh was responsible for overseeing Hamas’ drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, paragliders, aerial detection systems, and air defences.
He played a significant role in planning and executing the October 7 attack by directing terrorists who used paragliders to enter southern Israel and coordinating drone attacks on Israel Defence Forces observation posts.
On October 14, the IDF announced the killing of the previous head of Hamas’s aerial forces, Murad Abu Murad. The Israel Defence Forces also identified Sgt Shirel Haim Pour, a 20-year-old from Rishon Lezion, as one of the soldiers killed in the October 7 Hamas attack. Her name was cleared for publication after notifying her family, as reported by The Times of Israel.
Sgt Pour served in the Gaza Division, and her death brings the total number of soldiers, officers, and reservists killed in the conflict to 311.
During the Israel Defence Forces’ overnight ground operation in the Gaza Strip, there were several clashes between troops and Hamas terrorists.
However, no soldiers were reported injured in these confrontations.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Air Force fighter jets attacked about 150 underground targets in the northern Gaza Strip tonight. “During the attack, terrorists of the terrorist organisation Hamas were eliminated and combat tunnels, underground combat spaces and other underground terrorist infrastructures were destroyed,” said IAF in a post on X.
The IDF’s infantry, combat engineering forces, and tanks are still present within the Gaza Strip as the ground operation continues. Additionally, the IDF conducted airstrikes targeting approximately 150 underground sites belonging to the Hamas terrorist group, resulting in the deaths of several Hamas militants, The Times of Israel reported.
Separately, on Friday night, the Houthis, an Iranian proxy terrorist organisation based in Yemen, launched a cruise missile toward Israel. The missile struck Taba in Egypt near the border with Israel, injuring six Egyptian security personnel, informed the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi.
This marks the second time the Houthis have launched missiles targeting Israel, with a previous attempt being intercepted by an American battleship. The Israeli embassy also noted that the Houthis follow a policy originating in Tehran, aiming to escalate conflict between Israel and Iranian proxies.
Israel remains committed to using any means necessary to defend itself, and the international community must hold Iran responsible for the potential escalation of conflict between Israel and the Houthis.
Israel also condemned the harm inflicted on Egypt’s security forces by the missiles and drones launched by the Houthi terrorist organisation with the intention of harming Israel.