Hamas Government Official Killed in IAF Strike.
The Israel Air Force struck a Gaza terrorist base late Thursday night, killing Jamal Abu Samhadana, a wanted terrorist newly appointed to head a new Hamas militia comprised of various terrorists.
The IAF craft attacked a training camp of the Salah al-Din Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, in the southern Gaza town of Rafiah, firing four missiles in the strike.
Abu Samhadana, founder and leader of the Fatah splinter group, the PRC, was the director-general of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority Interior Ministry. He was appointed to the post a short time after his release from an Israeli prison.
Abu Samhadana had survived at least four previous assassination attempts. He has been on Israel's most wanted terrorist list from the time of the first intifada and was suspected of having a key role in the bloody 2003 bombing of a U.S. convoy in Gaza.
The camp was located on the ruins of the former Jewish settlement Slav in the southern part of Gush Katif, which the government demolished last summer during the expulsion program. Terrorists were being trained there to launch a large scale attack on Israel, according to an IDF spokeswoman. At least three other terrorists were killed and 10 wounded in the missile strike, she said.
Peretz ordered defense personnel on Thursday to ratchet up the pressure on the Kassam cells and to target "anyone" behind the attacks - including Hamas officials. "No terrorist from any of the organizations will be immune if they engage in anti-Israel terror activity," Peretz told officials at the meeting.
Response from the Hamas-led government was quick and sharp. "Israel knows that Abu Samhadana works in the government and by killing him they are sending a message that all its members, from the prime minister to junior employees are targets for death," said PA cabinet secretary Ghazi Hamad.
Meanwhile, the PRC vowed there would be reprisals for the Israeli action. "The Zionist entity and Zionist settlements near Gaza will not feel security and safety anymore," a PRC spokesman threatened. "Our rockets will rain into the Zionist entity and our heroes will blow themselves up among their dirty bodies," he warned.
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|Date:||Jun 9, 2006|
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