Terrorist leader killed in Gaza blast

Five others dead, including wife, daughter; at least 40 wounded, mostly civilians; IDF denies involvement.

Gaza Explosion 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
Gaza Explosion 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
A top Islamic Jihad terrorist was killed together with his wife and daughter when a powerful explosion rocked his home in the el-Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on Saturday. Three neighbors were also killed. Witnesses said Ayman Atallah Fayed's three-story home was flattened by the blast, and that six nearby homes were badly damaged. At least 40 people were hurt, including nine who were in critical condition Also on Saturday, 10 Kassam rockets struck the western Negev as hundreds of students and residents from Sderot planned to demonstrate opposite the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem. The protest is scheduled to take place on Sunday, while an interministerial committee meets to discuss funding for reinforcing homes in the rocket-plagued town. In Gaza, Palestinians claimed that Israeli aircraft had fired missiles at Fayed's home, but the IDF denied any involvement, raising the possibility that a "work accident" had caused the explosion. Fayed was a top Islamic Jihad field commander and responsible for manufacturing Kassam rockets. Witnesses reported seeing fragments of what looked like locally-produced rockets at the scene, suggesting the house may have been used to store the projectiles. On Sunday afternoon, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is expected to convene the ministerial committee to make a decision on providing security for residents of Sderot and the Gaza-periphery communities. The government has already allocated more than NIS 300 million for improving the safety of Sderot residents, who are demanding that the funds be used to provide every building with a secure room. Mark Weiss contributed to this report