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January 21, 2014 8:41 pm

Israel Targets Terror Operative Responsible for Rocket Attacks During Sharon Funeral

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Israel Air Force helicopters.

The Israel Defense Forces targeted and killed a terrorist operative in the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday night in order “to eliminate an imminent threat to the lives of Israeli civilians,” it said in a statement.

Ahmad Za’anin, 21, a senior operative in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror organization, was involved in recent attacks against Israel and was planning further attacks in the coming days, the IDF said.

“Amongst his most recent attacks was launching of rockets during the former Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon’s funeral on January 15,” the statement said.

Sources in Gaza said his cousin, Mahmoud Yousef Za’anin, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, was also killed in the attack .

“Since 2009 (Ahmad) Za’anin, with the cooperation of other terror bodies in the Gaza Strip, has endorsed numerous attacks such as sniping attacks and detonating explosive devices against IDF soldiers,” the IDF said further. “In his earlier days Za’anin was affiliated with the Islamic Palestinian Jihad, during which the terrorist operated towards the execution of terror attacks, most of which were rocket attacks, against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers.”

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, IDF Spokesman said, “To tolerate Gaza rocket attacks would be to succumb to extremist aggression. It is the IDF’s moral obligation and right to defend its soldiers and civilians from the deadly actions and intentions of terrorists of the likes of Zaanin.”

The strike comes as rocket fire emanating from Gaza has been on the rise with over 20 rockets fired since the start of 2014.

On Sunday the IDF targeted another suspected terrorist, Ahmad Sa’ad, 22, who was riding a motorcycle in the northern Gaza Strip. Sa’ad was injured in the strike which was caught on camera.

The Israel Defense Forces routinely stipulate that they hold terror group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, responsible for all attacks emanating from the territory.

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