UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The Israeli army said Thursday that Islamic Jihad leader Rasmi Abu Malhous was killed in an overnight raid on the Gaza Strip.
Israeli army spokesman Avichai Adrai said on his Twitter account that Abu Malous was killed in a raid on Deir al-Balah in the Gaza Strip before the ceasefire, which began on Thursday morning, took effect.
Another spokesman, Jonathan Conricus, told AFP that Abu Malous was “a leader of the Islamic Jihad and he, like many others, has a tactic of concealing ammunition and military infrastructure in their homes.”
The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported the death of eight members of the same family (Abu Malous) after targeting their home in a raid at night, including five children.
Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shehab denied the Israeli statements, telling AFP: “Rasmi Abu Malous is neither a leader nor a senior member of Islamic Jihad.”
He said Rasmi Abu Malous “is known in his area as someone who is affiliated with Islamic Jihad, but he is not a leader.”
Neighbors and relatives told the Abu Malhous family that he was a military police officer in the Palestinian Authority.
A shaky truce came into effect on Thursday morning in the Gaza Strip after two days of clashes between Israel and Islamic Jihad, mainly in which 34 Palestinians were killed and more than 100 wounded.
The clashes erupted after the assassination of Israel at dawn on Tuesday, a senior military leader of the Islamic Jihad Bahaa Abu al-Atta, Jihad responded by firing rockets towards Israel. Israeli warplanes then launched dozens of airstrikes, especially targeting jihad sites.
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