IDF airstrike kills top terrorist in north Gaza
Israeli aircraft target terrorist behind recent rocket attack on Eilat as he
rides motorbike near Hamas training camp. PM: We said we would not let
rocket fire pass quietly
Latest Update: 04.30.13, 12:25 / Israel News
IDF kills terrorist in Gaza for the first time since Operation Pillar of
Defense: Israeli aircraft killed a senior terrorist in north Gaza at
approximately 10 am Tuesday. According to Israeli security officials, the
terrorist, a Salafi who belongs to Global Jihad, orchestrated the recent
rocket attack on Eilat, Israel's southernmost city.
The Palestinians reported that the terrorist was riding his motorbike near
a Hamas training camp when he was targeted by an Israeli aircraft. Another
man, apparently the terrorist's aide, was injured in the strike.
Hamas' Health Ministry identified the terrorist as Haytham Almishal, 24, a
resident of the Shati refugee camp who worked in security at the Shifa
Hospital in Gaza. Channel 10 said Mashal was a rocket-manufacuring expert.
Tuesday's attack was the first deadly airstrike carried out by Israel since
a ceasefire ended Operation Pillar of Defense in November.
Shortly after the strike in Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said,
"Today we hit one of the people involved in the wicked rocket fire on Eilat.
I said that we would not let this pass quietly. We do not accept the firing
from the Gaza Strip or from the Sinai Peninsula. We will work to protect
שיגור רקטת הגראד לאילת
Terrorists launch Grad rocket at Eilat
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called the targeted killing "dangerous and
unjustified," adding that it was meant to create a tense atmosphere in the
Israel is trying to "divert attention from the Judaization and the
settlement enterprise in Jerusalem," he said, adding that the strike was a
violation of the Egyptian-mediated agreement which ended the war in
The Israeli military confirmed it had carried out the attack, which came
just two days after Netanyahu had warned of a strong military response to
sporadic rocket fire onto Israel.
לאחר החיסול בעזה (צילום: AP)
Terrorist's body carried in Gaza
Following the attack on Eilat, the PM said those responsible "were
apparently members of a terrorist cell that left Gaza and used Sinai in
order to attack an Israeli city.
"This is unacceptable. We will exact a price for this; this has been our
consistent policy for the past four years and it will serve us here as
well," he said.
Ynet's military analyst Ron Ben-Yishai said the strike in Gaza was a joint
Shin Bet-IDF operation carried out as part of Israel's policy of deterrence
and prevention. Almishal, he said, wasn't killed only because of his
involvement in the rocket fire on Eilat, but mainly because he took part in
the preparations for additional rocket attacks on Israel from Sinai, Gaza or
Should the targeted killing fail to bolster Israel's deterrence, the IDF
will not wait long before launching another major offensive in Gaza,
according to Ben-Yishai.
Nine rockets have been fired at Israel over the past 10 days by global jihad
organizations, mainly as acts of defiance against the Hamas government. The
regime in Gaza tried to prevent the rocket attacks, in part due to pressure
applied by Egypt, but its efforts were ignored by the Salafist and jihadist
Ben-Yishai said Almishal became an independent expert on weapons, mainly
rockets. He supplied rockets to anyone who was interested. According the
analyst, there is a fair amount of such "freelancers" in Gaza. Almishal
served as a weapons consultant for all the terror groups, but mainly to the
small Salafist groups who are firing rockets at Israel.
Among other things, Almishal transferred Grad rockets and gave advice ahead
of the rocket attack on Eilat. It remains unclear whether he served as a
mediator between the Bedouins in Sinai who hold the rockets and the
organization which carried out the attack (Shura Council of the Mujahideen
in the Environs of Jerusalem), or if he transferred the rockets directly
from the Salafi groups from weapons caches in Gaza.
Not only was Almishal not a member of any Salafist or global jihad
organization, he was on the payroll of one of the Hamas government's
security agencies in Gaza. His rocket expertise offered him a way to earn a
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