Daily Israel Report

IAF Pilots Kill Shalit Kidnappers

Israel Air Force pilots struck a terror cell responsible for the 2006 kidnap of IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit, killing the group's second-in-command.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 6/17/2008, 6:38 PM

Israel News Photo: (file photo)

The Israel Air Force struck terrorist groups in Gaza in three separate attacks Tuesday afternoon killing at least six operatives, including a terror cell responsible for the 2006 kidnapping of IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

Two of the strikes were carried out in the central Gaza town of Dir el-Balah, where IAF pilots successfully targeted the gunmen involved in the 2006 kidnapping of IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

One of the missiles struck a vehicle carrying the Army of Islam terrorist cell, which included the group's second-in-command, Muataz Dughmush. Five terrorists were killed, including Dughmush, and three others were wounded, one critically. The vehicle was completely destroyed.

Two other Army of Islam terrorists were wounded in the second strike, which occurred in the same area a short time later.

Later in the afternoon, a sixth terrorist was killed in the third strike, which took place in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis, another favorite site from which terrorists launch rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli civilians in the western Negev.

The IDF confirmed all three strikes, saying pilots targeted terrorist cells responsible for launching rocket attacks on Israeli civilians.

Army of Islam Linked to Al-Qaeda
The Army of Islam group is run by the Dughmush clan, which is reportedly linked to the international Al-Qaeda terrorist organization and is sometimes referred to as "the organization of Al-Qaeda in Palestine."

The group is also known for having kidnapped BBC reporter Alan Johnston from his Gaza City bureau offices in March 2007, holding him hostage for almost four months before finally letting him go.