A Hamas militant who Israel said led a unit of commando forces that gunned down civilians in last week’s attack on southern Israel has been killed in an air strike, the military said Saturday. Israeli military “aircraft killed Ali Qadi, a company commander of the Hamas ‘Nukhba’ (elite) commando force,” a statement said without specifying the location or timing of the strike. A Hamas official told AFP the Palestinian group had “no comment” concerning the Israeli claim. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed Qadi, 37, was a unit commander in the elite Hamas force. Both the Palestinian official and the Israeli military statement said Qadi was one of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners released by Israel in 2011 in exchange for a soldier, Gilad Shalit, captured by Hamas in 2006. Qadi was arrested by Israel in 2005 over the kidnapping and murder of an Israeli man who media reports at the time identified as a broker for the Shin Bet internal security agency. Hamas militants who broke through the militarised security barrier around the Gaza Strip on October 7 killed more than 1,300 people in southern Israel, triggering retaliatory Israeli bombardment that has killed at least 2,215 people in Gaza.