Israel kills Jihad commander in shootout

Special to World
Sunday, September 28, 2003

RAMALLAH Israeli forces have killed a leading Islamic Jihad commander in the West Bank.

Palestinian sources said Israeli special operations forces killed Diab Shyuki in a shootout near a Jihad hideout in the West Bank city of Hebron on Thursday. Shyuki was identified as the Jihad commander for the southern West Bank.

Shyuki was said to have headed an insurgency network in Hebron and the surrounding area that targeted Israeli soldiers and civilians. The sources said Shyuki was one of the most wanted fugitives by Israel.

The sources said the killing of Shyuki dealt another blow to the Islamic insurgency network in Hebron. Israeli forces have killed virtually every senior commander of Hamas and Jihad in the southern city.

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In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces failed in an attempt to kill Fares Shahin, a Hamas commander based in the Bureij refugee camp. Shahin escaped in an Israeli military operation that included commandos and attack helicopters.

An Israeli soldier as well as two Hamas operatives were killed in the clash. Israeli military sources said the military force found Kassam short-range missiles and mortars in Shahin's house.

Palestinian sources said the battle between the Israeli force and Hamas insurgents lasted six hours. They said Palestinians destroyed or disabled three jeeps, an armored personnel carrier and a tank.

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