May 22, 2024

Israel attacked an underground space used by Marwan Issa, the deputy commander of Hamas’s military wing, an Israeli military spokesman said Monday, adding that investigators were still analyzing the outcome of the strike.

Hamas, which has revealed little information about its senior military leaders since the war began, did not immediately comment.

The Israeli spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, emphasized that Israel had not finished verifying the results of the attack by Israeli warplanes, which he said had hit a location that has been used by Mr. Issa and another senior Hamas military official responsible for the group’s weapons.

If Mr. Issa were killed in the strike, he would be the highest-ranking Hamas commander to have been slain since the war began. His death would represent a victory for Israel, whose leaders have vowed to wipe out the Hamas leadership in Gaza — although Israel has killed many senior Hamas members in past decades, and the group has swiftly replaced them.

One of the most senior Hamas officials to have been confirmed dead since the start of the war is Saleh al-Arouri, a founder of the group’s armed wing who Hamas said was killed in an Israeli attack in Lebanon on Jan. 2. Although Israel’s campaign has battered Hamas over the last five months, its leader in Gaza and the presumed mastermind of the Oct. 7 attack, Yahya Sinwar, has eluded Israeli forces. Mohammed Deif, the top commander of the military wing, is also believed to be alive.

Admiral Hagari said the strike had been carried out on Nuseirat, in central Gaza, overnight between Saturday and Sunday. Israel conducted a particularly large number of strikes there that night, according to Arabic news media.

Admiral Hagari said that Mr. Issa helped plan the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack and was a part of “the main triangle of terror” in Gaza, alongside Mr. Sinwar and Mr. Deif.

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