The Israel Defense Forces and Israel Security Agency, in a joint operation in Gaza, eliminated a leading Hamas terrorist and critically wounded another.
In a joint military operation on Wednesday night, the IDF and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) eliminated a Hamas terrorist in the northern Gaza Strip; two others were wounded, one critically.
The operation was in response to a rocket attack on Israel earlier that day, in which there were no injuries.
“We will not ignore the fire or the attempted attacks whose purpose is to disrupt the lives of our citizens living in the South and harm our forces,” said Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon. “We will pursue and lay our hands on whoever threatens us. We will know how to act whenever and wherever necessary to thwart any attempts by terrorist forces in Gaza to strike Israeli citizens, as we did last night.”
The murdered terrorist was Mahmed Awwar, 33, a resident of Beit Lahia who was affiliated with Global Jihad and was employed by Hamas as a policeman, according to the IDF. He had “been involved in many rocket attacks against Israel over the past few years and during this past month especially,” according to the IDF blog.
Awwar was instrumental in carrying out the rocket attack against the city of Sderot and the communities in southern Israel during the Passover holiday this year, the blog added.
Terrorist Hamada Hassan, 25, was critically wounded.
“This infrastructure is a violent and extremist Salafi cell which has carried out several rocket attacks and has attempted to implement diverse terror attacks against Israel as well as attempts to target a helicopter,” the IDF said. “The preemptive strike was intended to prevent Awwar from executing further attacks he had planned against Israel.”
Since the start of 2014, Hamas terrorists launched more than 200 rockets into Israel. Wednesday,” said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, IDF spokesperson.
This indicates “a significant increase compared with the previous year, during which over 100 rockets were launched,” Lerner stated. Wednesday’s operation, “conducted following intense efforts and precise preparations, is a part of the ongoing IDF efforts aimed to diminish terror elements in the strip and for the civilians of the State of Israel.”
Netanyahu: ‘This is the True Face of Hamas’
“Our policy is clear – kill those who rise up to kill us,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared. “The IDF and the ISA carried out a precise operation and will continue to take strong action against all those who try to attack the security of Israel’s citizens.
“This is the true face of Hamas; it is continuing to plan terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens even as it inside the Palestinian government,” the Israeli leader asserted. “I would like to remind the international community that Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] – on the day he formed a government with the Hamas terrorist organization – promised to honor all previous agreements. This means that he is responsible for disarming Hamas and the other terrorist organizations of the arsenals in Gaza.”
“We condemn all rocket fire from Gaza. It is unprovoked aggression against civilian targets and is totally unacceptable,” US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, while refusing to place any blame on Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president who signed a deal with Hamas, a recognized terror organization, to form a Palestinian unity government.
“We expect the Palestinian Authority will do everything in its power to prevent attacks from Gaza into Israel. But we acknowledge the reality that Hamas currently controls Gaza,” Psaki said.
Author: Atara Beck
Staff Writer/Editor, United with Israel