Mortar fire on Israel (Archives)
Photo: AFP

PRC commander killed in Israeli airstrike in Gaza

Popular Resistance Committees spokesman says group's gunmen fired at IDF forces on Israeli side of security fence and were then targeted by Israeli aircraft

A Gaza gunman has been killed and four others wounded in an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis, Palestinian sources reported late Tuesday night.


The sources said the gunman killed in the strike was identified as Jihad Smyre, a regional commander of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC).


PRC claimed responsibility for Monday's mortar attack on Israel.


The Israeli military confirmed that it carried out the airstrike late Tuesday. Such airstrikes have been relatively rare in the year since Israel's large-scale three-week invasion of Gaza ended.


Abu Mujahed, the spokesman for the Hamas-allied PRC, said militants opened fire on Israeli forces on the Israeli side of the border. An Israeli aircraft then fired a missile at the gunmen.


Palestinian Health Ministry official Dr. Moaiya Hassanain said one militant was killed and four were wounded.


Israel has pledged to retaliate against any attacks from Gaza. Militants this week fired several mortars at Israel.


Gazans fear that talk of a stalemate in the prisoner exchange negotiations with Israel, in addition to the construction of Egypt's underground wall along its border with the Strip, may indicate a possible escalation of violence.


A spokesperson for Hamas' armed wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, said earlier Tuesday it was preparing for the possibility of an Israeli strike amid reports that the Islamist group has been increasing its rearmament efforts as of late.


Hanan Greenberg contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 01.05.10, 23:22
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