Two Mujahideen Shura Council operatives who planned to carry out a terrorist attack during Sukkot
were killed Saturday in two Air Force strikes in Gaza.
One of the terrorists was involved in the firing of a rocket that hit a backyard in Netivot
on Friday and the other helped carry out the border attack that claimed the life of Said Fashapshe last June.
Palestinians sources said that the first strike in Jabalya left at least one person riding a motorcycle dead. Other civilians hurt in the attack were taken to a nearby hospital, according to the sources.
Shortly thereafter the IAF
launched another strike at the al-Zeitun neiborhood in eastern Gaza. Casualties were reported.
Saturday's strikes were the result of a joint Shin Bet and IAF operation.
Wounded rushed to hospital (Photo: Reuters)
According to IDF
intelligence, the two terrorists were planning to carry out an attack during Sukkot but were forced to change their plans following the IDF's October 7 strike which left two members of their cell severely injured.
The IDF issued a statement saying that the Mujahideen Shura Council has claimed responsibility for the firing at Netivot.
"The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers and will continue to act with determination and force against anyone who uses terror against the State of Israel. Hamas is held accountable."
|Global Jihad operatives killed in Gaza|
On Friday night, the army launched a strike in Gaza and hit three terror targets. Hours earlier, a rocket exploded at a backyard in Netivot. No injuries were reported.
On Monday, the morning of Simchat Torah, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad fired dozens of rockets
and mortar shells at the Eshkol Regional Council in response to an IDF strike which left two Palestinians severely injured. Several rockets were also fired at Israel the following day.
On Wednesday, a rocket exploded
in an open area between Netivot and Shaar Hanegev which prompted an IDF strike. The Palestinians reported that the IDF hit an Izz al-Din al-Qassam training camp. No injuries were reported.
One of the terrorists killed Saturday is Isham Saidani, leader of the Gaza-based Salafi group Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad.
Saidani, 43, also known as Abu al-Walid al-Muqdasi, was the leader of the Al-Qaeda inspired group and was involved in previous terrorist attacks against Israel. He was arrested in March 2011 by Hamas security forces two years after a violent clash between Hamas and members of the Jund Ansar Allah group which declared the establishment of an Islamic emirate in Gaza.
During the fighting, Hamas carried out a massacre at a Rafah mosque which left 28 people, mostly Salafi operatives, dead. Until his arrest, Saidani was working to unite all of Gaza's Salafi factions under one organization.
Shortly after his arrest, the group kidnapped Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni
and executed him. The move gravely hurt Hamas' international image and the group vowed to bring those responsible to justice. Four days later, Hamas forces raided
the murderers' house. Two were killed and was one injured and captured.
Saidani was released from jail last August apparently following mediation efforts by Jordanian Islamists.
Yoav Zitun contributed to this report