In a significant operation, Israel targeted Ibrahim Bari, a prominent Hamas leader, while inadvertently causing a tragic incident in Gaza’s largest refugee camp, Jabalia.
The Hamas-run health ministry reported a devastating loss of life as a result of the Israeli airstrike on Jabalia refugee camp. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed that the attack aimed to eliminate Ibrahim Bari, a key figure linked to the October 7 attacks.
Reports from the AFP indicate that rescue teams have been tirelessly sifting through the rubble of the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, desperately searching for survivors and casualties. Journalists on the scene have confirmed the recovery of at least 47 lifeless bodies.
Yusef Hijazi, the grandfather of one victim, made a heartfelt plea, saying, “We ask the world to show sympathy for the children to stop these massacres.”
The IDF released a statement explaining the operation: “A short while ago, IDF warplanes… assassinated Ibrahim Biari, commander of the Jabalia brigade of the Hamas terrorist organization, who was one of those who directed the murderous terrorist attack on October 7. After the attack, Hamas’ underground military infrastructure beneath these buildings collapsed, resulting in the loss of many Hamas terrorists.”
Hamas’ military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, has responded with a vow to turn Gaza into a “graveyard” for Israeli troops but has not yet commented on the details of the operation.
The Gazan health ministry, under Hamas administration, initially reported over 50 fatalities and 150 injuries, with fears that many more may be trapped beneath the rubble. They strongly condemned what they termed “a heinous Israeli massacre” at the camp.
In response to the situation, Egypt has condemned Israel’s actions and announced plans to open the Rafah crossing to provide medical treatment for wounded Palestinians. This marks the first time Egypt has agreed to open the border to civilians since the recent escalation of hostilities between Hamas and Israel.
Qatar, a key mediator in the crisis, has issued a warning against further expanded attacks, stating that such actions could undermine ongoing mediation and de-escalation efforts.
The Israeli strike on Jabalia came after a day of intense clashes between Israeli ground troops and militants in northern Gaza. Israel remains determined to “crush” Hamas, especially following the October 7 attacks, which Israeli officials claim resulted in the deaths of 1,400 people, marking one of the deadliest incidents in the nation’s history.
Since then, Israel has launched relentless aerial bombardments, with the Gaza health ministry reporting a grim toll of more than 8,500 Palestinian casualties, with two-thirds of them being women and children.
The Jabalia refugee camp, which houses 116,000 people in a compact 1.4 square-kilometer area, witnessed heart-wrenching scenes as hundreds of Palestinians came together to search for survivors amidst the craters and debris. One resident described the explosion as being akin to “an earthquake.”
Global leaders have voiced their concerns about the escalating violence and the deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Just hours before the Jabalia strike, the health ministry had already reported a staggering death toll of 8,525, including 3,542 children and 2,187 women.
Despite appeals for a ceasefire made by 120 nations, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, dismissed the calls, asserting that such appeals amounted to “Israel surrendering to Hamas, terrorism, and barbarism.”
As the conflict rages on, Gazans like Ahmed al-Kahlout, a resident of Gaza City, plead for respite, saying, “We want to live like any other people in this world, to live quietly. We don’t know what to do. The least they can do is give us a truce, give us three hours, a temporary truce, or a ceasefire.