After years of evading capture, Abd el-Majid Dudin, commander of the Hamas military wing in the southern Hebron Hills, was killed by an elite Border Police unit on Thursday.
A spokesman for Hamas blamed the Palestinian Authority for coordinating the operation with Israel. Dudin, the IDF said, was behind a series of deadly terrorist attacks in Israel since the mid 1990s.
"This crime demands that the PA protect the Palestinian nation and stop pursuing Hamas," Fawzi Barhoum said. "The extremist, terrorist Israeli government will pay the price for this crime and all the crimes that it commits against the Palestinian nation and its leaders."
Dudin, 45, was a fugitive for 14 years. He was the mastermind behind a series of suicide bombings including one in the Ramat Eshkol in Jerusalem and another in Ramat Gan, which together killed 10 Israelis and wounded dozens more.
Commandos from the Border Police's elite Yamam Counter-Terror Unit arrived in the predawn hours Thursday in the village of Dura in the southern Hebron Hills with the intent of arresting Dudin. When they reached the house where the terrorist was hiding, shots were fired. The commandos returned fire, killing Dudin.