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Monday, April 11, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Israel air strike takes out Hamas commander

TEL AVIV — Israel has killed a Hamas commander assigned to direct operations in Egypt.


The Israel Air Force fired a missile that killed three Hamas commanders in the southern Gaza Strip. The Israeli military said one of the commanders slain on April 9 was identified as Tayser Abu Snima.

"He was in charge of executing a terror attack from Sinai, firing rockets at the city of Eilat," the military said.

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The military said Abu Snima held several major positions in Hamas and planned attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers. Abu Snima was also said to have directed Hamas rocket strikes toward Eilat in 2010, Middle East Newsline reported.

Hamas established an operational network in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula in 2010, a military source said. The Hamas regime, in cooperation with Palestinian militias, was said to have conducted two rocket strikes on Israel over the last year.

Military sources said Abu Snima's operations were ordered by Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari, who has lost at least one senior associate in the latest Israeli air strikes. They said Jabari and Abu Snima expanded Hamas operations into Egypt without informing the regime's political leaders, including Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

"He [Jabari] is taking orders from Iran," the military source said.

Abu Snima, assigned to the southern district, was also said to have participated in the Hamas abduction of Israel Army Cpl. Gilad Shalit in 2006. Shalit has been a Hamas captive ever since.

"Abu Snima was directly and physically involved in the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit," the military said. "In addition, he held several major roles in the military wing of Hamas and was involved in a significant number of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers."

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