Israels Eternal fighting squad hunting down and killing Hamas one by one

Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet, whose motto is “the unseen shield”, has set up a special unit to hunt down Hamas terrorists – specifically the members of Nukhba.

Nukhba is a special forces unit within the armed wing of Hamas, known as the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Tel Aviv believes it was this unit that led the terror attack launched on Israel on October 7, which resulted in the killing of around 1,400 people, the destruction of several kibbutzim and the abduction of at least 212 Israelis and foreign nationals.

Some 2,500 terrorists are believed to have taken part in the multipronged attack, which included storming kibbutzim in southern Israel and launching rockets at Tel Aviv.

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What is the Nili squad?

The new squad will be named after the World War I-era Jewish underground organisation Nili, which operated on behalf of Britain between 1915 and 1917.

Nili operated under the leadership of agronomist Aaron Aaronsohn and fought against the Ottoman Empire, which at the time was controlling much of the territory that today is part of the state of Israel.

Following the outbreak of WWI, Turkish authorities started deporting Jewish residents and enforced a series of oppressive measures.

This, alongside fear that Jewish people were facing a fate similar to that of the Armenians who, during the first global conflict, were mass murdered and saw their identity being systematically destroyed, prompted members of the Aaronsohn family to act.

The Nili spy ring worked with Britain’s troops stationed in Egypt, in the hope Britain could help the Jewish population by taking over control of the area.

The name Nili is an acronym in Hebrew for “the Eternal One of Israel will not lie”, and comes from a phrase from the First Book of Samuel which reads: “Netzah Yisrael Lo Yeshaker.”

Speaking about the new group, the Jerusalem Post said Nili members will operate independently from other units focused on neutralising terror cells and operatives.

The squad will include both field operatives and intelligence personnel.

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Who are the Nili squad hunting down?

Hamas political leader Yahya Ibrahim Hassan Sinwar is among the men wanted by Tel Aviv, as he has been accused by Israel of playing a pivotal role in the organisation of the October 7 massacre. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Lt Col Richard Hecth recently called him a “dead man walking”.

Sinwar, who became Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip in February 2017, is believed to be one of the co-founders of the Hamas security apparatus and is one of the group’s most powerful figures.

In the late 1980s, he was accused of orchestrating the abduction and killing of two Israeli soldiers and four Palestinians he considered to be collaborators.

Sinwar has been handed four life sentences by Israel and served 22 years in prison before being released in 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange deal.

Two years prior to taking over from the previous Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Abdel Salam Ahmed Haniyeh, Sinwar was designated a terrorist by the US government.

Another likely target of Nili is Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif, who has been on Israel’s most wanted list for almost three decades.

On the day of Hamas’ terror attack, Deif – a nickname which means “Guest” in Arabic – released an audio message saying the “rage of our people and our nation is exploding”.

Deif, who is known to have survived at least seven assassination attempts by Israel, is believed to be hiding in the network of tunnels underneath Gaza.

The campaign of retaliatory air strikes launched by Israel over the past fortnight has reportedly killed a number of Hamas commanders, including field Talal al-Hindi, Jehad Mheisen and Ayman Nofal, who was in charge of the Central Gaza area.

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