Who was Marwan Issa, the Hamas commander killed by Israel?

Who was Marwan Issa, the Hamas commander killed by Israel?

Marwan Issa, the deputy commander of Hamas’s army wing in Gaza and a presumed mastermind of the Oct. 7 assault on southern Israel, was confirmed dead on Monday by a senior U.S. official after an Israeli airstrike greater than per week in the past.

Jake Sullivan, the U.S. nationwide safety adviser, instructed reporters that Mr. Issa, one if the highest-ranking officers in Hamas, had been killed. Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari mentioned on March 11 that Israeli army warplanes had focused Mr. Issa and one other senior Hamas official in an underground compound in central Gaza.

With his dying, Mr. Issa, who had been amongst Israel’s most wished males, grew to become the senior-most Hamas chief to be killed in Gaza for the reason that begin of the warfare. Israeli officers have characterised the strike as a breakthrough of their marketing campaign to wipe out the Hamas management in Gaza.

But consultants cautioned that his dying wouldn’t have a devastating impact on Hamas’s management construction. Israel has killed Hamas’s political and army leaders up to now, solely to see them shortly changed.

Here is a more in-depth take a look at Mr. Issa and what his dying means for Hamas and its management.

Mr. Issa, who was 58 or 59 on the time of his dying, had served since 2012 as a deputy to Mohammed Deif, the elusive chief of the Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s army wing. Mr. Issa assumed the position after the assassination of one other high commander, Ahmed al-Jabari.

Mr. Issa served each on Hamas’s army council and in its Gaza political workplace, overseen by Yahya Sinwar, the group’s highest-ranking official within the enclave. Mr. Issa was described by Palestinian analysts and former Israeli safety officers as an necessary strategist who performed a key position as a liaison between Hamas’s army and political leaders.

Salah al-Din al-Awawdeh, a Palestinian analyst near Hamas, described Mr. Issa’s place within the group as “a part of the entrance rank of the army wing’s management.”

Maj. Gen. Tamir Hayman, the previous Israeli army intelligence chief, mentioned Mr. Issa was concurrently Hamas’s “protection minister,” its deputy army commander and its “strategic thoughts.”

Experts described Mr. Issa as an necessary affiliate of Mr. Deif and Mr. Sinwar, although they mentioned his dying didn’t signify a menace to the group’s survival.

“There’s at all times a substitute,” Mr. Awawdeh mentioned. “I don’t assume the assassination of any member of the army wing will affect its actions.”

Michael Milshtein, a former Israeli army intelligence officer and an professional on Palestinian affairs, mentioned Mr. Issa’s dying was a major blow to the Qassam Brigades, although he conceded it wasn’t “the tip of the world” for Hamas.

“He had numerous expertise,” Mr. Milshtein mentioned. “His dying is a giant loss for Hamas, however it isn’t a loss that may result in its collapse and it received’t have an effect on it for a very long time. In per week or two, they’ll overcome it.”

Mr. Milshtein added that regardless that Mr. Issa’s opinion was valued on the highest ranges of Hamas, the actual fact he didn’t immediately command fighters meant his dying didn’t depart a gaping gap in Hamas’s operations.

Mr. Issa was a lesser-known member of Hamas’s high brass, sustaining a low profile and barely showing in public.

Gerhard Conrad, a former German intelligence officer who met Mr. Issa greater than a decade in the past, described him as a “decisive and quiet” particular person missing charisma. “He was not very eloquent, however he knew what to say, and he was straight to the purpose,” Mr. Conrad mentioned in an interview.

Mr. Conrad mentioned he met Mr. Issa, Mr. al-Jabari and Mahmoud al-Zahar, one other senior Hamas official, about ten instances between 2009 and 2011 in Gaza City. The males met as a part of an effort to dealer a prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas.

“He was the grasp of the information on the prisoners,” Mr. Conrad mentioned of Mr. Issa. “He had all of the names to be negotiated on.”

Mr. Conrad, nevertheless, mentioned it was obvious on the time that Mr. Issa was a subordinate to Mr. al-Jabari. “He was a form of chief of workers,” he mentioned.

It was solely after Mr. al-Jabari’s assassination that Mr. Issa’s prominence grew, however he nonetheless was eager to remain out of view. Few photographs of Mr. Issa are within the public area.

Mr. Awawdeh, the analyst, known as Mr. Issa a person who favored to “stay within the shadows” and who seldom granted interviews to the media.

In a type of uncommon interviews, Mr. Issa spoke in 2021 about his position within the oblique talks that resulted in Israel exchanging greater than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for a single Israeli soldier, Sgt. First Class Gilad Shalit, and his hopes for a future battle with Israel.

“Even if the resistance in Palestine is monitored by the enemy in any respect hours, it would shock the enemy,” he instructed Al Jazeera on the time.

In a separate interview with a Hamas publication in 2005, Mr. Issa lauded militants who raided Israeli settlements and army bases, calling the actions “heroic” and an “superior exercise.”

Mr. Issa was born within the Bureij space of central Gaza in 1965, however his household hails from what’s now the Ashkelon space in Israel.

A Hamas member for many years, he was concerned with the militant group concerned pursuing Palestinians who have been believed to have collaborated with Israel, based on Mr. Awawdeh.

Mr. Issa frolicked in prisons operated by each Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Admiral Hagari has mentioned that Mr. Issa helped plan the Hamas-led Oct. 7 assault. Mr. Issa can be thought to have deliberate operations aimed toward infiltrating Israeli settlements through the second intifada within the 2000s, Mr. Milshtein mentioned.



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