IDF Arabic spokesperson Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee on Sunday morning revealed the identities of key figures in Hamas' Shijaiyah Battalion, a day after their commander Wissam Farhat was eliminated by Israel, and called on them to surrender or share the same fate.
Lt. Col. Adraee said that this was the "final warning" before Israeli forces launched an extensive military operation in the neighborhood.
"You are all in our crosshairs. The IDF will operate with tremendous force in the neighborhood to dismantle Hamas' military infrastructure," he said in a post shared on multiple social media platforms. "You have two options: Surrender and lay down your weapons - or stay and wait for a fate similar to that of Wissam Farhat and Younes Mushtaha (the squad commander who was eliminated)."
Farhat, who led the battalion since 2010 and oversaw operations during 2014's Operation Protective Edge, was killed in an Israeli airstrike on Saturday. He orchestrated an attack on an Israeli armored personnel carrier during the operation, resulting in the death of six IDF soldiers. First Sergeant Oron Shaul, captured in the incident, remains missing, and it's believed his body is still in Gaza.
Farhat was instrumental in orchestrating Hamas' surprise attack on Israeli soil on October 7, directing terrorists of the elite Nukhba force to target Kibbutz Nahal Oz and its nearby outpost. He also significantly contributed to the 2002 attack on the Atsmona pre-military academy, leading to five students' deaths and numerous injuries. Furthermore, Farhat was a key figure in the 2011 Nahal Oz attack, where anti-tank fire at a bus led to 16-year-old Daniel Viplich's death.
On Saturday, Lt. Col. Adraee raised the possibility that four high-ranking Hamas officials, including Rawhi Mushtaha, a known associate of Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, might have been eliminated. Mushtaha, one of the few members of the Hamas politburo still in Gaza, was specifically mentioned. In a video, Adraee posed questions regarding their whereabouts and why Hamas is concerned about these individuals' fate.