The IAF struck a vehicle in Gaza on Friday, killing two senior officials
of the Popular Resistance Committee (PRC), in a move to thwart a
large-scale terror attack that was in its last stages of preparation,
according to the IDF spokesperson.
IDF confirmed that the two killed in the attack were: commander of the
Zuhair Qaisi; and Ahmad Hanini, a senior PRC member. A Hamas official
said Hanani had been exiled by Israel five years ago, denying earlier
reports he had been one of those freed from an Israeli jail last year as
part of a prisoner swap deal to gain the release of Israeli soldier
IDF stated that the attack was part of an operation to thwart the
intentions of terrorists to carry out terror attacks in Sinai, along the
border between Israel and Egypt. Qaisi had been planning and leading
over the past few days, a major terror attack against Israeli targets,
and the strike was conducted in order to prevent the attack, the IDF
said in a statement.
It added that the IDF was not
interested in escalation but was ready to defend Israel and would
respond forcefully and decisively against against any attempt at
explosion happened shortly after two mortar shells were fired at
Israel from the Hamas-ruled territory, causing no damage or injury. The explosions
occurred in open fields in the Eshkol regional council, which abuts the
border with the Gaza Strip.
Senior IDF officials reacted to the mortar shell attacks, telling Army Radio that they would not allow the
firing to continue. The officials expressed
surprise that, with no reason, the shooting at civilians from Gaza
continued "on Friday too... at villages surrounding Gaza." They
also stressed that the mortar shell attacks had been unprovoked, and were carried out when there
had been no previous IDF action in Gaza.
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Reuters contributed to this report