Haytham Al-Hawajri, the commander of Hamas' Shati Battalion who led the terror organization's operations in the Shati refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, was killed in an Israeli airstrike, IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari announced on Sunday.
Al-Hawajri also commanded the abduction of IDF soldiers during Hamas' assault on southern Israel on October 7. "We will continue to pursue and locate every Hamas terrorist in the region," Hagari said.
Hagari added more information about the IDF's operation in Gaza, saying: "The IDF is expanding its ground operations against the Hamas’ central command centers throughout the Strip. Forces engage terrorists face-to-face, and eliminate them. The Israeli Air Force, IDF Southern Command, Intelligence Corps, and Shin Bet work around the clock to counter threats such as terror tunnels and rocket launching pads, alongside the ground operation in an effort to increase safety to our forces."
Earlier on Thursday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said that "The operation in the southern Gaza Strip will be no less intense than that in the northern part of the Strip,” confirming that preparations have begun for a military operation in southern Gaza.