Hamas leaders survive Israeli missile attack
SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Tuesday, July 16, 2002
GAZA CITY — Hamas stated that Israel had failed in an attempt to destroy The Islamic militant group's military wing.
A Hamas statement said an Israeli warplane tried to destroy a building in the Gaza city of Khan Yunis in belief that five military leaders were inside. An Israeli F-16 jet fired two missiles toward the three-story building, but the Hamas members survived, Middle East Newsline reported.
A Hamas statement said the target was a key member of the Izzedin Kassam military wing, Yusef Abdul Wahab. The organization said five Qassam members were in the building.
"The five members survived the assassination attempt," the Hamas communique read.
Hamas warned that it will avenge the Israeli attack. On late Sunday, an Israeli military patrol fired toward an unidentified individual near the Gaza border crossing of Kissufim. On Monday, two anti-tank missile launchers developed by Hamas were found at the scene of the shooting.
Israeli military sources said the building managed by Abdul Wahab was used as a bomb factory. Khan Yunis has served as a launching pad for numerous mortar attacks on the nearby Israeli enclave of Gush Katif.
Last week, Israeli military sources said the new Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon intends to end the Palestinian insurgency war by the end of the year. The sources said the plan calls for the toppling of the regime of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat and the elimination of Islamic insurgency leaders.
Israeli troops captured 15 suspected Palestinian insurgents overnight Tuesday in the northern West Bank amid an alert by Israeli authorities for a new wave of suicide bombings. Officials said Hamas and Islamic Jihad are trying to carry out a car bombing inside Israel or against a Jewish community in the West Bank.