IDF kills Gaza Islamic Jihad chief

3 Palestinians killed in IAF strike; 4 Kassams fired towards western Negev.

IAF copter cool 298.88 (photo credit: IDF [file])
IAF copter cool 298.88
(photo credit: IDF [file])
Two days after surviving an Israeli attempt on his life, a senior Islamic Jihad commander was killed in Gaza City on Thursday - along with two other terrorists - in an IAF strike on his car. Earlier in the day, a Hamas operative was killed in an air strike after he was spotted aiming an antitank missile at IDF troops. Security officials said Islamic Jihad leader Omar Khatib, 32, was behind Islamic Jihad's foiled kidnap attempt near the Kissufim crossing on June 9, when three terrorists driving a jeep with TV-reporter markings infiltrated into Israel. Khatib, the officials said, was also responsible for dozens of Kassam rocket and mortar attacks on the western Negev. Palestinians said Khatib was head of Islamic Jihad's military wing in Gaza. On Tuesday, the IAF bombed a building in Gaza in a failed targeted killing of Khatib. Earlier Thursday, the IAF killed a Hamas member who was trying to fire an rocket-propelled-grenade at a Golani infantry force operating inside the Gaza Strip, north of the Sufa crossing and east of Khan Yunis. The troops discovered several weapon caches and clashed with a number of gunmen, wounding five. In one incident, troops targeted a pair of terrorists about to fire Kassam rockets in northern Gaza. The two were wounded, Hamas said. Four Kassam rockets were also fired Thursday into the western Negev, two of them just before midnight. Meanwhile, a Palestinian was killed near the Tekoa settlement in Judea after he tried to stab a soldier with a 25-cm-long knife. The IDF said the 20-year-old Palestinian approached a soldier and tried to stab him. A scuffle ensued and another soldier, fearing that if he opened fire he would injure his comrade, took out a club and hit the Palestinian in the head. The Palestinian died of his wounds. AP contributed to this report.