Gaza leader escapes Israeli missile strike

A senior Islamic Jihad leader escapes unharmed from an Israeli helicopter missile strike in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on Saturday, Palestinian security sources and witnesses have said.

    One of the strikes damaged an office of a Palestinian charity

    Witnesses said the helicopter fired at least one missile which

    badly damaged the home of Muhammad al-Shaikh Khalil.

    Sources within the Islamic group confirmed to AFP

    Shaikh Khalil, who heads up its al-Quds Brigades military wing in

    the southern Gaza Strip, escaped unharmed.

    The strike came just hours after Israeli helicopter gunships

    pounded targets in Gaza City in a failed attempt to eradicate the

    Islamic Jihad's top leader, Muhammad al-Hindi, who also escaped

    unharmed.

    The assassination attempts came after a week in which 13 Israeli

    soldiers were killed in Gaza, most of them in two deadly attacks

    claimed by Islamic Jihad.

    Elsewhere in Rafah, two Palestinians were injured when Israeli

    troops opened fire in Salah al-Din area, Palestinian medics told

    AFP, saying a 45-year-old man was in critical condition.

    The two incidents occured just hours after troops withdrew from

    the flashpoint city on the border with Egypt.

    Two soldiers were killed by Palestinian militants in Rafah on

    Friday.

    The army said they were felled by sniper fire, but al-Aqsa

    Martyrs Brigades - an armed offshoot of Palestinian leader Yasir

    Arafat's Fatah movement - said they killed them in a roadside

    bombing.

    SOURCE: AFP


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