|Gaza explosion in car with crowd.(Photo by: ASSOCIATED PRESS)|
‘Ticking bomb’ terrorist killed in Gaza air strike
By YAAKOV KATZ AND KHALED ABU TOAMEH
Shin Bet confirms targeted assassination of Army of Islam member tied to al-Qaida; was planning to attack US, Israeli targets in Sinai.
Israel resumed its targeted assassinations in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday with
the killing of a senior al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist by a car bomb in Gaza
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) confirmed Wednesday night
that together with the Israel Air Force, it had carried out an operation to kill
27-year-old Mohammed Namnam, a top operative with the Army of Islam, a radical
Palestinian terror group affiliated with al-Qaida and involved in the 2006
abduction of Gilad Schalit.
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“Earlier today, the Israeli army targeted a
ticking bomb,” IDF spokeswoman, Lt.-Col. Avital Leibovitz, told reporters in a
According to the Shin Bet, Namnam, from the Shati
refugee camp, was responsible for a number of attacks against Israel in recent
The security agency added that it had obtained intelligence
indicating that Namnam was in the midst of planning attacks against American and
Israeli targets in the Sinai Peninsula.
Hamas confirmed that the man killed was Namnam.
Hamas said he was a senior aide to Mumtaz
Dughmush, commander of the Army of Islam. Dughmush is a former Hamas activist
and heads the violent Dughmush clan in Gaza City.
The explosion occurred
outside the headquarters of the Hamas security forces in Gaza City, eyewitnesses
said. Four other Palestinians were wounded in the blast, they
Sources in Gaza revealed that Namnam was recently arrested by
Hamas and interrogated about his role in firing rockets at Israel. The sources
said that Namnam was accused of violating understandings between Hamas and other
Palestinian groups to halt the rocket attacks.
The Army of Islam is one
of numerous armed groups that have been operating in the Gaza Strip over the
past few years. Its members have often clashed with Hamas.
The group was
responsible for the kidnapping of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston four years
ago. Its members have also been behind a series of terror attacks against
Western institutions, Christians and other Palestinians in the Gaza
In September 2008, a violent confrontation erupted between Hamas
and the Dughmush clan in the Sabra suburb of Gaza City.
The clashes began
when Hamas militiamen tried to arrest two members of the clan. At least 12 clan
members were killed in the confrontation.
One of those killed was Ibrahim
Dughmush, the brother of Mumtaz.
Bloomberg contributed to this report.