This is breaking news, and will be updated as more becomes known.

Israeli commandos apparently infiltrated the Gaza strip and assassinated Nur Barakah, a Hamas al-Qassam brigade senior commander in charge of attack tunnels.

The attack was confirmed by al-Qassam in a tweet:

This is likely to lead to increased fighting. We will keep updating.


The IDF has issued an update that an Israeli Officer was killed:

The IDF denies that any Israeli soldiers were captured.

Haaretz reports;

Palestinian sources told Haaretz that one of the casualties is Nur Barake, a deputy commander of an elite unit of Iz al-Din al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas. Barake and an additional commander were said to be killed in Khan Younes.

Palestinian officials said the group of Hamas men were fired at from a passing car.

According to reports from Gaza, an elite Israeli force entered the city of Khan Younes and killed the Hamas militants. The reports said that the force was then exposed. The two sides then began exchanging fire, and Israeli aircraft accompanied the ground forces….

The Israeli military confirmed that no soldiers were taken hostage during the incident.

The Times of Israel reports:

Baraka was reportedly closely involved in Hamas’s tunnel program and also served as the commander of a Khan Younis regional battalion.

This reportedly is a poster released by Hamas after the incident:

Be cautious about videos posted as to authenticity. Two reliable Twitter accounts are Joe Truzman and his Ground Brief newsletter account:

The Times of Israel is reporting that this appears to have been an intelligence gathering mission gone wrong, rather than a targeted hit:

Maj. Gen. (res.) Tal Russo, a former commander of the IDF Southern Command, indicated that the operation was likely an intelligence-gathering mission gone wrong, rather than an assassination attempt on Baraka, as Hamas initially claimed.

“Activities that most civilians aren’t aware of happen all the time, every night and in every region. This action — an operation that was apparently exposed — wasn’t an assassination attempt. We have other ways of assassinating people and we know how to do it much more elegantly,” Russo told Channel 10 news.

The retired general, who until recently was responsible for the IDF’s missions abroad, also told Army Radio that Baraka was likely killed in exchanges of fire amid an Israeli rescue effort to extract the special forces soldiers.

UPDATES 11-12-2018

It’s becoming clear that this was not a targeted assassination, but an intelligence gathering mission that ended in a firefight.

The Times of Israel reports:

IDF Spokesperson Ronen Manelis said Monday that the overnight mission in Gaza was intended as an intelligence-gathering mission by IDF special forces operating deep inside Gaza, not an assassination or kidnapping attempt.

The NY Times reports:

According to a statement from Hamas, Israeli special forces in a civilian car drove about two miles inside the Gaza Strip, east of Khan Younis, where they killed Noor Baraka, 37, a local battalion commander of al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing. Mr. Baraka’s responsibilities included digging attack tunnels and firing rockets into Israel.

According to a local journalist, Muthana al-Najjar, the Israelis, dressed as civilians — including some in women’s clothing — were in a civilian vehicle that stopped outside Mr. Baraka’s home, where it drew suspicion. A gunfight ensued, and the fleeing Israelis called in airstrikes to cover their retreat to Israeli territory.


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