Israeli soldiers drive with an armoured personnel carrier (APC) on patrol near the border with Gaza, in Israel, 28 October 2023. EFE/EPA/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE

Israel kills Hamas’ air chief behind Oct. 7 attack

Jerusalem, Oct 28 (EFE).- Israeli warplanes shot down the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas’ air command chief Asem Abu Rakaba, who was involved in the planning of the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

“Overnight, IDF fighter jets struck Asem Abu Rakaba, the Head of Hamas’ Aerial Array. Abu Rakaba was responsible for Hamas’ UAVs, drones, paragliders, aerial detection and defense,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a post on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

The Israeli authorities did not mention where the air strike took place.

“He took part in planning the October 7 massacre and commanded the terrorists who infiltrated Israel on paragliders and was responsible for the drone attacks on IDF posts,” IDF added.

The Oct.7 attack on Israeli communities near Gaza left 1,400 dead, some 5,000 wounded and resulted in more than 200 hostages taken to Gaza.

Since then, the Israeli armed forces have killed several leaders of Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

Two days ago, Israel took out the “number two” of the group’s Intelligence Directorate, Shadi Barud, whom Israel considered to be the mastermind of the attacks on its territory.

Overnight, Israeli Army spokesman Daniel Hagari announced that their forces would expand ground operations in the Gaza Strip. Airstrikes in Gaza have already left more than 7,300 dead.

In another statement, the Israel Defense Forces said Saturday that they have “hit” some 150 underground targets in the northern Gaza Strip, such as tunnels and underground combat posts, in which several Hamas members have died. EFE