A founding member of Hamas — the terrorist group behind the weekend slaughter of more than 1,200 people, including babies — was among those killed Tuesday in an Israeli air strike on Gaza, according to local reports.
Abd al-Fattah Dukhan, a senior Hamas official known as “Abu Osama,” was killed in an attack by Israeli Defense Forces in the central Gaza Strip, Israel’s KAN public broadcaster reported, citing local Palestinian reports.
The prominent member was taken down in the Nuseirat neighborhood in the center of Gaza, according to the report.
Two other senior Hamas leaders, Zachariah Abu Ma’amar and Jawad Abu Shamala, were also killed in overnight airstrikes over Gaza on Tuesday, the IDF said, according to Israel National News.
Dukhan, a school principal at the al-Nusayrat refugee camp, was one of those at a 1987 offshoot meeting of the Muslim Brotherhood during which Hamas was founded by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a Palestinian who lived in Gaza.
Abu Ma’amar was involved in the organization’s decision-making and planning of terrorist actions against Israel, while Abu Shamala was Hamas’ Economy Minister.
Hamas, also known as the Islamic Resistance Movement, governs Gaza, a 25-mile-long strip of land along the Mediterranean with a population of more than two million people, and the West Bank, a larger area with both Palestinian and Israeli settlements under Israeli military occupation.
Since its conception, Hamas has vowed to eradicate the Jewish state and create an Islamic state in its place, repeatedly deploying terrorist tactics against Israelis, including mass murder, rocket strikes, suicide bombings and kidnappings.
Hamas has been in control of the Gaza Strip since 2007, after seizing the area from the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority.
The group was labeled a terrorist organization by the United States and other Western nations in 1997.
At least 1,200 Israelis have been killed as a result of Hamas’ attack and an estimated 1,050 Palestinians have been killed in retaliation.