Hamas Denies Israel Assassination of Senior Rocket Commander
Hamas’ Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades on Thursday denied reports of an IDF hit on its top rocket chief, Aiyman Siyam, in Gaza.
“He is continuing in his Jihadist actions,” the group said in a statement, according to Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot. “We call on the media to be precise and not trust the lies of Israel.”
Later in the afternoon, the army and Shin Bet acknowledged that Siyam was not in the vehicle that was hit, according to Channel 2 News.
Siyam was thought to have been traveling in a vehicle from one safe house to another in the southern part of the 40-kilometer-long coastal enclave, when it came under fire from Israeli forces.
It is unclear who was in the vehicle that was hit.
Siyam would have been the most senior Hamas figure Israel has killed since the targeted assassination of Ahmed Jabari in 2012, who headed the group’s military wing. That hit precipitated 2012’s Operation Defensive Shield.
Meanwhile in northern Gaza, Israeli aircraft on Thursday reportedly hit and killed the senior member of Islamic Jihad’s military operations, Muhammad Wallud, and two other Palestinians in Beit Lihiya, Walla News said, citing Palestinian sources.