About 10,000 Palestinians attended the funeral of Louey Saadi funeral in Tulkarm Tuesday, carrying his body across town as masses chanted for revenge. "God is great. God loves him. God hates the Jews. They are killers," some mourners chanted.
Saadi, a senior Islamic Jihad mastermind, was killed Monday by elite IDF forces in a predawn raid.
IDF troops in the Tulkarm area intercepted a white Subaru. The army said a gunman in the car opened fire at troops, lightly wounding one soldier. They fired back killing the gunman. He was identified as Majed al Ashkar, 26.
Immediately afterwards, another gunman emerged from an alley and engaged in a firefight with troops. Wounded, he fled to a nearby house.
According to witnesses, troops sent in after him dogs equipped with monitoring equipment and fired a rocket into the house to flush him out.
Soldiers shot him as he climbed the steps killing him instantly, witness said.
He was later identified as Louey Sa'adi, the mastermind behind the suicide bombing at the Stage nightclub in Tel Aviv in February that killed five Israelis and the Netanya suicide bombing outside of the Sharon mall and an attempted terror attack in Shavei Shomron.
He was also involved in a car bomb in Mevo Dotan and three attempts to smuggle suicide bombers into Jerusalem.
Ephraim Brigade Commander Col. Aharon Haliba told Army Radio on Monday morning that Sa'adi's cell had been planning to attack Israel in the near future.
"Louey Sa'adi's hands are covered in Israeli bloodâ€¦ I think that this blow to them [Islamic Jihad] on this day, on the eve of the holiday, saved many lives," he said.
The army said Ashkar was one of Sa'adi's top lieutenants.
The Islamic Jihad has called for revenge. "Our response to this crime will be unprecedented, in accordance with the status of the man," vowed Abu-Abdullah, the group's spokesman in Gaza.
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