The Air Force hit a senior Islamic Jihad terrorist in the city of Beit Lahiya in Gaza on Wednesday night. The target was identified as Khaled Shualan, one of the top commanders of Islamic Jihad's rocket launching squads.
Shualan and a second Islamic Jihad terrorist, Hamza Najar, were badly wounded in the strike. Witnesses said five others were wounded as well; their terror affiliation and medical condition was not immediately clear.
Witnesses reported that Shualan and Najar were driving through Beit Lahiya when IAF aircraft approached, but managed to escape their vehicle before a missile hit it. Terrorist spokesmen confirmed that the two remained alive.
IDF officials said Shualan was involved in recent rocket attacks on Ashkelon. One such attack hit a school, causing extensive damage.
The strike was Israel's first attempt at an assassination since the Cast Lead operation ended earlier this year. During the operation several senior terrorists were killed, including Hamas's number three leader, Said Siyyam.
Since the operation, Israel has for the most part limited its response to rocket attacks from Gaza to airstrikes on smuggling tunnels along the Egyptian border.