You Are Welcome, ISM

Over the past 24 or so hours, Israel has been creating some terror-grade fertilizer.

AP

An Israeli air strike in Gaza killed a Palestinian gunman and wounded another on Sunday, hospital officials said, hours after Israel killed the leader of a Salafi militant group.

An Israeli military spokesman said the men targeted in southern Gaza had been preparing to fire rockets into Israel.

Medics said Yasser al-Atakal, 24, was killed in the strike on his motorbike east of Khan Younis, and another person was seriously wounded.

The air strike came hours after Israel killed two other militants in a similar attack in the northern town of Jabalia late on Saturday.

Both Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza, and Israel identified one of the men killed in the earlier attack as Salafi leader Hisham Al-Saedni, 52, also known as Abu Al-Walid Al-Maqdisi.

Medics said the other man killed in the strike was Al-Saedni’s bodyguard Fayiq Abu-Jather. A 10-year-old boy who was passing by the area was also wounded.

Meanwhile, the ISM should be thanking us for taking out Al-Saedni.

Hamas said Saedni had headed Tawhid and Jihad, a group with an Islamist ideology shared by al-Qaida, while the Israeli military said he had helped found a kindred militant Salafi movement, the Hashura Council of the Mujahideen.

Saedni had recently been planning a attack that would be carried out in the neighboring Egyptian Sinai, the Israeli military said in a statement. The desert peninsula has seen a surge of Islamist militant activity during the political upheaval rocking Cairo since early 2011.

A number of Jihadist Salafi groups have surfaced in Gaza in recent years. Unlike Hamas, they endorse an ideology of global Jihad and some accuse Hamas of failing to implement Islamic laws in the coastal enclave.

Al-Saedni became notorious after men claiming affiliation to Tawhid and Jihad kidnapped Italian political activist Vittorio Arrigoni in April 2011, and demanded the Salafi leader’s release from Hamas-run jail in exchange.

Al-Saedni was called in by security forces to negotiate with the kidnappers during a police raid, which ended in two of the kidnappers being shot. The Salafi leader was released from Gaza jail in September 2011 and has since kept a low profile.

He’s now keeping an even lower profile. Six feet under.

Update: Looks like Ha’aretz let their guard down.

I do believe that’s the “T” word in the headline, despite the use of the “M” word elsewhere in the report.

Update: I am still awaiting confirmation, but someone on Reddit seems to think this doting father is Al-Saedni.

Update: Free Gaza have retweeted someone posting about the IAF air strike that killed Al-Saedni, before his identity was revealed.

Given Arrigoni participated in a Free Gaza mission and the ISM is affiliated with Free Gaza, I wonder if they would reconsider that tweet.

About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

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