Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hamas insider killed in Israeli strike on Gaza

The Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip today claimed a significant blow against the top ranks of Hamas when an air strike killed Nizar Rayyan, one of the movement’s inner circle.

Mr Rayyan, one of Hamas’s most hardline political figures who had advocated renewing suicide bombings inside Israel, died in a targeted strike on his home. He is the most senior Hamas leader to have been killed since 2004, and only yesterday vowed that rocket attacks from Gaza would hit Israel “even deeper” than they have so far.

Medical officials said that another nine people, including two of Rayan’s four wives and four of his 12 children, were killed in the bombing on an eight storey apartment building in Jabalya refugee camp. The airstrike blew a huge hole in the side of the building and sent a thick plume of smoke into the air.

Mr Rayyan, a 52-year-old lecturer at Gaza’s Islamist University who was rated by some amongst Hamas's top decision makers, had mentored suicide bombers and would sometimes go on patrol with Hamas fighters.

You can read the rest of the report and watch a video report at this link: Hamas

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