Islamic Jihad leader killed in IDF raid
July 31, 2006
Islamic Jihad says leader killed in raid
By Ali Daraghmeh
NABLUS, West Bank - Israeli troops killed a top leader of the radical Islamic Jihad in a West Bank raid yesterday, the group said, and the Israelis pressed ahead with their offensive in the Gaza Strip.
Islamic Jihad said the leader of its militant wing in Nablus, Hani Awijan, 29, was killed by Israeli undercover troops. They came to arrest him while he was playing soccer with friends and relatives, the group said. Another Islamic Jihad member was also killed.
The army confirmed soldiers operated in Nablus and said a militant was killed in an exchange of fire.
Israel Radio said Awijan was responsible for a series of attacks on Israelis. During the last 17 months, Islamic Jihad has been responsible for all 12 suicide bombing attacks in Israel, killing 71 people.
Islamic Jihad announced Awijan's death from mosque loudspeakers, As news of the raid spread through Nablus, large crowds gathered. Militants burned tires in the streets and called for a general strike in the city. Shops were quickly closed.
While most attention is on the Israel-Lebanon conflict and the monthlong Israeli offensive in Gaza, Israeli forces carry out nightly arrest raids in the West Bank, searching for suspected militants.