Would-be Gaza assassin killed in raid

Prime suspect in bombing which targeted PA premier killed along with suspected accomplice as PA leaders look for possible motive.

AFP, Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Hamas Gaza terrorist
Hamas Gaza terrorist
Flash 90

The main suspect in a recent bomb attack in the Gaza Strip against the Palestinian Authority premier was killed in a raid on Thursday that also left two Hamas terrorists dead.

One of the suspect's alleged accomplices was also killed in the raid after Hamas, the Islamist terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip, launched a manhunt.

The interior ministry in the Gaza Strip announced the deaths Thursday afternoon. The two suspects were earlier said to have been arrested, but the ministry issued a statement later saying they had died from their wounds. A third suspect has been placed under arrest.

The Hamas members who were killed in the raid were identified as Hammad Abu Swerah and Ziad al-Howajri, with the interior ministry saying they "died while carrying out their national duty in a security operation this morning."

A clash with an exchange of fire had erupted earlier in the day in Nuseirat, south of Gaza City, a day after Hamas named Anas Abu Koussa, born in 1993, as the lead suspect.

Dozens of new checkpoints had been erected throughout the Gaza Strip and armed Hamas forces were searching cars, an AFP correspondent said.

Palestinian Authority premier Rami Hamdallah was unhurt by the roadside bomb that struck his convoy on March 13, in what PA officials have called an assassination attempt as he entered Gaza on a rare visit.

Palestinian Authority intelligence chief Majid Faraj, who was accompanying
Hamdallah, also escaped injury.

The roadside bomb, believed to have weighed around 15 kilogrammes (33 pounds), exploded a few hundred meters (yards) from the border with Israel, shortly after Hamdallah's convoy entered the territory.

A second bomb failed to explode, officials said.

Spokesmen for the Hamas terror organization did not give a possible motive for the attack on Hamdallah, head of government in Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority.

On Wednesday, a Hamas source said investigators had arrested and were questioning three people, including two members of the PA-run intelligence services.

Another security source said he believed radical Salafist Muslims had planted the bomb, which lightly injured six people.

On Monday, Abbas accused Hamas of being behind the blast and said he would take new measures in response, without specifying details.



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