Tuesday, December 16, 2008

IDF Kills Islamic Jihad Leader

Hana Levi Julian IDF Kills Islamic Jihad Leader

IDF soldiers killed a 23-year-old Islamic Jihad commander Monday night when he tried to escape arrest in the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Jenin.

Jihad Nawahada, commander of the al-Quds Brigades division in northern Israel was sitting in a Jenin street café when he was approached by IDF soldiers. Intelligence sources reported that Nawahada had been planning to carry out an attack on Israeli civilians within the next few days. Two of his brothers, also members of the Islamic Jihad terrorist group, are currently serving prison terms for their role in terrorist activities.

The IDF said soldiers had planned to evacuate the injured terrorist to an Israeli hospital, but he never made it, having been mortally wounded in the shootout that ensued when he tried to escape. His body was turned over to the Red Crescent medical organization.

American-trained Palestinian Authority security forces arrested Nawahada earlier this year in an exchange of gunfire that sparked friction between the PA and Islamic Jihad, according to a report published in the Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Acharonot.

IDF sources said that Nawahada returned to his terrorist activities immediately upon his release in September from PA custody. His fellow terrorists vow revenge for his death.

In general, the PA forces, which have received advanced training and equipment from U.S. military personnel at bases built for them in Jericho and Jordan, confine themselves to maintaining law and order during daylight hours. They rarely engage in counterterrorism operations, leaving that aspect of security enforcement to the IDF. .

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