The kibbutz volunteer was shot by a PA sniper
The kibbutz volunteer was shot by a PA sniper (file)

A volunteer from Ecuador was murdered by Palestinian Authority terrorists Tuesday morning while working in the fields of Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha, near Gaza. The 20-year-old man, Carlos Andres Muscara Chavez, was shot in the back by a PA sniper from across the perimeter fence.

The victim suffered a single shot to the back.

The victim suffered a single gunshot wound and was brought to the kibbutz medical clinic, where he was pronounced dead. Hamas, which controls the PA in Gaza, claimed responsibility for the murder.

Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha is adjacent to the Gaza perimeter fence in the western Negev, two kilometers (about one mile) from the center of the Gaza region and 25 kilometers (about 15 miles) southwest of rocket-battered Sderot. The community, founded by a core group of Jewish immigrants from South America, has also been targeted by PA rocket barrages in the past.

In a subsequent attack by PA terrorists, a Kassam rocket landed in Kibbutz Alumim, in the western Negev. No damage or injuries were reported

Hamas Leader's Son Killed

IDF forces carried out a missile strike against a vehicle carrying PA terrorists in northern Gaza on Tuesday morning, killing the son of top Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar. Clashes between IDF ground troops and enemy gunmen continued in the outskirts of Gaza City as well. As of Tuesday afternoon, 15 PA terrorists had been killed by Israeli forces, with no IDF casualties. 

According to PA sources, among the victims of the Israeli airstrike in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City was Hussein al-Zahar. His father Mahmoud is one of the founders of Hamas and serves as the Foreign Minister in the Hamas-run PA in Gaza.

Al-Zahar has described the creation of "Hamastan" as a goal of Hamas, telling Newsweek magazine just after the 2005 Disengagement that "[Gaza] should be Hamastan." On September 10, 2003, al-Zahar's house was bombed in an Israeli airstrike. He was slightly wounded, while al-Zahar's eldest son Khaled was killed.

The elder al-Zahar is one of the founders of Hamas.

Other Counter-Terrorism Operations

In other operations, IDF soldiers apprehended 13 wanted terrorists overnight on Monday. Three were captured in Shechem and five were tracked down in nearby villages. The remaining terrorists were arrested in villages near Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hevron.

The detainees were delivered to General Security Services (GSS) agents for interrogation.

PA sources claimed on Tuesday that their militiamen had discovered a rocket hidden in a suitcase in Samaria. The announcement came shortly after Israeli forces discovered a mortar shell near the city of Shechem, where IDF forces earlier found two nearly completed rockets and a weapons manufacturing laboratory.

IDF officials said they have not confirmed the PA claims. In the past, PA elements in Judea and Samaria have fired and claimed to have fired rockets at Jewish targets a handful of times.

Ezra HaLevi contributed to this report.