At the end of the funeral, a special prayer was expected to be held at the local soccer field. Dozens of gunmen deployed across the city ahead of the funeral.
A Popular Resistance Committees spokesman said during the funeral that the organization has elected a new secretary-general. He added that the organization would not publish the replacement's name "for security reasons."
- IAF strike kills top PA official
- Who are you, Jamal Abu Samhadana?
- 3 Qassams hit south following IAF killing
On Thursday night, the Israel Defense Forces killed Jamal Abu Samhadana, the man in charge of one of the strongest terror organizations in Gaza, who was appointed as the general supervisor of the Interior Ministry, the ministry responsible for the security organizations.
An aircraft fired four missiles on one of the organization's training camps. At least four people were killed in a strike planned by the Southern Command and the Israel Air Force, which considered Samhadana to be one of the most wanted Palestinians. He had escaped at least four assassination attempts and has been wanted since the first intifada.
Marching with the body (Photo: Reuters)
A source in the al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad's military wing, confirmed to Ynet on Friday that Abu Samhadana arrived at his organization's camp, where he was killed in order to examine preparations for a joint terror attack planned by a number of Palestinian organizations.
The Islamic Jihad source said that Abu Samhadana arrived at the camp in order to meet three Palestinian activists who planned to carry out a terror attack against an Israeli target.
According to the source, the three are members of the al-Quds Brigades, the Salah al-Din Brigades, the Popular Resistance Committees' military wing, and the Mujahidin Brigades, a group belonging to the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Fatah's military wing.
The source added that before every operation in which his organization was involved, Abu Samhadana had a habit of meeting with the activists who were to carry out the attack. The Islamic Jihad warned it would respond to Abu Samhadana's assassination.
'Peretz proves he is a criminal no less than Mofaz'
The IDF strike stirred a wave of angry responses also on the part of senior Palestinian Authority officials.
Palestinian Information Minister Yusef al-Rizka told the al-Jazeera Arab news network after the attack that "(Defense Minister) Amir Peretz is proving that he is a criminal no less than (Shaul) Mofaz."
"This Israeli crime is a result of the silence and the European and American approval for the enemy to continue his aggression against the Palestinian people. This, alongside the siege they are holding against the Palestinian people," said al-Rizka.
In another interview, PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said that "this crime does not add to the efforts to bring security, peace and stability to the area."
He went on to say that "this is another crime added to the IDF's series of recent crimes, the last one being the killing of three Palestinian security personnel in the northern Strip. We condemn the murder and call on all Palestinian groups to unite around the prisoners' document, which is a good basis for Palestinian unity."