Islamic Jihad killed more Hamas terrorists in Gaza operation than IDF did

Two Hamas operatives were killed during Operation Breaking Dawn, neither of which were targeted by the IDF.

  Ahmed Muhammad Afana (photo credit:  Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website/screenshot)
Ahmed Muhammad Afana
(photo credit: Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website/screenshot)

Neither of the two Hamas operatives that were killed during Operation Breaking Dawn last week were targeted by the Israel Defense Forces, The Jerusalem Post learned on Tuesday.

At least one of the terrorists was accidentally killed by Islamic Jihad rocket fire, and the IDF is confident that it did not kill the other, but doesn't know with certainty how the second operative died. This would likely mean that more Hamas operatives were killed by another terrorist organization by accident than by the IDF during the hostilities.

Both Hamas operatives that died during the three-day hostilities were soldiers in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing.

Mysterious death of Hamas operative

Muhammad Abdul-Majid Afana died under mysterious circumstances in Jabaliya around 4:30 p.m. on August 7, the last day of fighting between Islamic Jihad and Israel. Hamas published photographs of Afana, 33, in military fatigues and armed with a rifle, but didn't say how he died other than "during the continuous Zionist aggression on the Gaza strip."

On Thursday, the al-Qassam Brigades held a ceremony commemorating Afana, replete with posters and banners bearing his image. A near 11 minutes video showing Afana's funeral and training with RPGs and small arms was also shared by the group.

 A ceremony commemorating the death of Hamas operative Muhammad Abdul-Majid Afana on August 11. (credit:  Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website/screenshot) A ceremony commemorating the death of Hamas operative Muhammad Abdul-Majid Afana on August 11. (credit: Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website/screenshot)

The area where Afana died, Jabaliya, was the location of two incidents that were alleged to have involved Islamic Jihad rocket accidents. On August 6, at least nine people, including four children were killed by an Islamic Jihad rocket according to the IDF. Another incident in a graveyard on August 7 killed five civilians, according to Shehab News. The IDF claimed at the time that it was the result of a failed rocket launch, but on Tuesday, Haaretz reported that the deaths were caused by an Israeli strike and not by Gazan rockets as initially assessed. 

Other Hamas terrorist killed by Islamic Jihad

On Monday, The Post confirmed based on an amalgamation of IDF, Hamas and Palestinian media information that al-Qassam Brigades operative and Hamas police officer Yasser Nimr Al-Nabahin was killed by a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket along with three sons in Bureij on the evening of August 7. 

The IDF asserted in an August 8 briefing that Islamic Jihad had killed more Gazan civilians during Operation Breaking Dawn than Israeli forces. Spokesperson’s Unit commander Brig.-Gen. Ran Kochav informed that of the 26 civilians that died last week, 11 were killed in Israeli airstrikes, and at least 15 were killed by Islamic Jihad rockets. If the August 7 Jabaliya graveyard incident was the IDF's responsibility, this assessment would be incorrect. 

Gazan terrorist organizations launched around 1,100 rockets during Operation Breaking Dawn, according to IDF statistics. Almost 200 of these projectiles fell within the Gaza strip – almost a fifth of those launched at Israel.