Two Islamic Jihad leaders killed in rare West Bank air strike

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
August 10, 2006 06:12
1 minute read.

 
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In an unusual move, Israeli helicopters fired missiles at two houses in the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin on Wednesday, killing two Islamic Jihad leaders, the army said. The IDF said the targets were senior members of the Palestinian terror group, and that they were planning attacks against Israel. The two men, who were identified as Osama Attili, 24, from Atil near Tulkarm, and Muhammad Atik, 26, from Burkin near Jenin, were leaders of Islamic Jihad's military wing. The air force routinely targets terror suspects in Gaza from the air, but such operations are rare in the West Bank. The military said the decision to attack the building from the air was made as a result of the difficulty that ground troops would have had if they were sent in to arrest the wanted men. Meanwhile, security officials said Wednesday that eight suicide bombings were thwarted in the last two weeks alone. Separately, an IAF helicopter gunship fired at least one missile into a Palestinian terrorist training camp in the Gaza Strip Wednesday night, killing three people: two gunmen and a 5-year-old girl. More than 170 Palestinians, most of them gunmen, have been killed in the military's five-week-old offensive operation in Gaza, which was sparked by a Hamas cross-border raid at an Israeli military outpost in which two soldiers were killed and a third, 19-year-old Cpl. Gilad Shalit, was abducted. Meanwhile, an investigation by the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem into a deadly IDF bombing in Gaza last month that killed an 11-year-old Palestinian child and his grandmother while they were riding in a donkey cart revealed that a group of children in the cart had picked up Kassam rocket launchers, apparently planning to sell them later on.

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