IDF says Air Force strike was a joint operation with Shin Bet, targeting terrorist cell planning future rocket attacks against southern Israel.
By Roi Kais, Yoav Zitun
The Israeli Air Force attacked a terror target in Sudaniya in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday night, Palestinian sources said. According to the Palestinians, one person was killed and two others were wounded in the strike, one critically.
The IDF said the strike was a joint operation with the Shin Bet, and that the targets were “global jihad-affiliated terrorists” who were planning attacks against Israel.
Witnesses said the airstrike targeted a man on a motorcycle and also struck a nearby car.
The dead was identified as Mohammed Ahmed Alarur, 30, from Beit Lahia. Hamada Hassan, 25, was reportedly critically wounded in the strike.
According to the IDF, Alarur was involved in many rocket launches at Israel in recent years and particularly in the past month. Alarur also served as a policeman in the Hamas police.
According to the Shin Bet, Alarur’s terror cell was behind the rocket salvo that hit Sderot, Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council and the Eshkol Regional Council on April 21, disrupting the silence of the Passover holiday morning.
The extremist Salafist cell also planned terror attacks against Israel, including a plot to fire an anti-aircraft missile at an IAF helicopter.
In a statement released shortly after the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed that Israel’s policy was cleared – “kill or be killed.”
He vowed that the IDF and Shin Bet “will continue acting forcefully against anyone who tries to harm the security of the citizens of Israel.”
Netanyahu stressed that “this is the true face of Hamas – it continues planning terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens even when it’s inside the Palestinian government.”
And stressed that now that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas formed a unity government backed with Hamas, he is “responsible for the disarming of Hamas and other Gaza terror organizations.”
The strike came in response to a rocket fired at southern Israel on Wednesday morning, that exploded in an open area near one of the area’s main roads – Road 232 – near a community in the Eshkol Regional Council.
Some 400 trucks bringing goods to Gaza through the Kerem Shalom border pass take Road 232 into the Strip on a daily basis.
Abbas issued a statement condemning the rocket fire and demanding all Palestinian factions to respect the ceasefire deal that was signed between Israel and Hamas after Operation Pillar of Defense, which was also included in the recent unity deal between Fatah and Hamas.
Abbas said in a statement that not respecting the ceasefire deal harms the security interest of the Palestinian people and that attacking Israel gives it an excuse to continue its attacks in Gaza.
This is not the first time a rocket has been fired from the strip since the establishment of a Palestinian unity government. At the beginning of last week, the IAF attacked a number of terror targets in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire at the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council.
Last Sunday also saw a rocket explode on the Palestinian side of the Gaza border with Israel, after the projectile failed to make it out of the strip.
Since the start of 2014, some 140 rockets fired from Gaza Strip have hit Israel.
View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4529442,00.html