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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Islamic Jihad Leader Killed, Car Swarm Follows



Israeli Strike Kills Islamic Jihad Chief -Witnesses

GAZA (al-Reuters) - Israel killed the chief military commander of the Palestinian [sic] militant group Islamic Jihad in a airstrike Tuesday, the highest profile Israeli assassination for months, local leaders of the group said.

The Israeli army had no immediate comment on the death of Bashir ad-Dabbash, 38. Another militant was critically wounded in the strike, witnesses said.

Islamic Jihad, sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state, has been one of the main groups behind a suicide bombing campaign that has killed hundreds of Israelis during 4 years of conflict.

"Israel will soon see our reaction. Revenge will be painful and inside the depths of the Zionist entity," one local leader said at the morgue in Gaza.

Dabbash was the most senior militant killed in Gaza since Israel's assassination of Hamas leader Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi in April.

The strike came as Israeli forces continued a massive offensive in northern Gaza to stop rocket attacks.

At least 68 Palestinians [sic], including 40 militants, have been killed in the raid, which followed the killing of two Israeli toddlers in a Palestinian [sic] rocket attack. Two Israeli soldiers and a woman settler have also died.

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