GAZA CITY Ñ Israel has killed a leading Hamas insurgent in the Gaza
Israeli and Palestinian sources said Israeli attack helicopters and
fixed-wing fired missiles that destroyed the vehicle of Said Arabid on
Tuesday evening in Gaza City. Palestinian sources said Israeli aircraft
fired two rounds of missiles toward Arabid's car.
Arabi, 33, was a leading Hamas insurgent and
responsible for a series of suicide bombings and rocket attacks on Israeli
civilian and military targets, Middle East Newsline reported.
Arabid commanded Hamas's Izzedin Kassem wing along with
Mohammed Deif, the sources said. Hamas increased Arabid's authority in the wake
of the death of Salah Shehada in an Israeli operation last year.
The sources said Arabid assumed some of the duties of Deif when the
latter was seriously injured in an Israeli assassination attempt last year.
Ashraf Halabi, Arabid's deputy, and four others were also killed in the
attack. The others included two youngsters, Palestinian sources said.
Palestinian sources said the Israeli operation consisted of AH-64A
Apache helicopters and F-16 multi-role fighters. They said the aircraft
carried out two strikes on Arabid's car.
Israeli military sources said Arabid began planning attacks on senior
Israeli commanders in the Gaza Strip in 1993. They included the
assassination of an Israeli colonel and the abduction and execution of an
Israeli soldier. In 1994, Arabid was said to have helped organize the
suicide bombing of an Israeli passenger bus in Tel Aviv in which 21 people
In 1999, Arabid was arrested by the PA. Israeli sources said Arabid was
then recruited by the Preventive Security Apparatus, the leading Palestinian
security agency in the Gaza Strip, then headed by Col. Mohammed Dahlan.
The duties included the development and production of Hamas missiles and
rockets. Deif has since returned to head Hamas's military wing.
On Wednesday, Hamas gunners fired a Kassam-class short-range missile
toward the Israeli city of Sderot. An Israeli woman was said to have been