Islamic Jihad technical expert killed in IAF strike

Senior operative, Abu Murshud, targeted while traveling in car; 7 terrorists killed in Thursday's IDF ops.

gaza air strike 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
gaza air strike 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
A top Islamic Jihad operative, Muhammad Abu Abdullah, also known as Abu Murshud, was killed in an IAF air strike late Thursday evening. Abdullah was one of seven Palestinian terrorists killed in operations in the Strip which continued into the night. An IDF spokesman said Abdullah was a senior operative in charge of manufacturing Kassam rockets and explosives. The operation was carried out with the assistance of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), he added. According to Palestinian sources, IAF aircraft fired several missiles toward the car in which Abdullah and other gunmen were traveling. The sources said that two other Palestinians were killed in the air strike and several others were wounded. Overnight Thursday, an IAF strike killed a Hamas gunman near the southern Gaza security fence. Palestinian sources said five others were wounded in the attack. In earlier Gaza operations, the IDF killed five members of Palestinian terror groups in air strikes and fire exchanges. Two Islamic Jihad men were killed in an IAF strike on their car on Thursday afternoon, Palestinian officials said. The military said it targeted a car filled with explosives on the way to an attack. In addition, three Palestinian gunmen were killed in southern Gaza in exchanges of fire with troops and in an IAF strike, the army reported. Palestinians said the dead were members of Hamas. Nine people were wounded, including four civilians, Palestinians reported, claiming that among the wounded was a 13-year-old boy. None of the injuries were life threatening, officials said. An army spokesman said a cell of four gunmen had fired an RPG at an army bulldozer operating in the Gaza territory. Troops returned fire, killing three of the men, said the spokesman. A subsequent air strike targeted the fourth member of the cell, the army said, but it was unclear if he had been hurt. During the operations, Gaza gunmen fired a projectile at an IDF helicopter, just missing it, Channel 2 footage showed. The TV channel showed a streak of light passing by the helicopter as it flew above the Strip. It was unclear if the weapon was a new type of anti-aircraft missile or a whether the attack was merely a case of gunmen improvising with a simple rocket. The army said an initial inquiry had shown that the pilots were unaware of any anti-aircraft fire being directed toward them, but added that it was still looking into the incident. Also on Thursday, an IDF elite unit special force and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) arrested two Islamic Jihad commanders in the West Bank, Palestinian sources reported. Muhammad a-Saida, both a member of the terrorist organization and a lecturer at Nablus's a-Najah University, was caught by security forces outside of the town. Saida was released from an Israeli prison three months ago, Army Radio reported. The second operative, Samar a-Sa'adi, who was described by Palestinians as the group's commander in Jenin, was arrested in the city's refugee camp. Defense officials said that both men were involved in terror attacks. The IDF confirmed only the arrest in Nablus. Meanwhile, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired two Kassam rockets and two mortar shells at the western Negev, while gunmen fired at IDF soldiers along the border with the central Gaza Strip. There were no reports of casualties or damage. In addition, according to Army Radio, a bullet was shot into the roof of a factory in Kibbutz Nir Oz. Defense officials were investigating the incident. Also Thursday, Hamas's armed wing Izzadin Kassam announced that one of its members was killed in a training accident in Gaza.