Israel kills members of 'global jihad movement'

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The Independent Online

The Israeli military claimed yesterday that two men targeted in an air strike in Gaza were members of a "global jihad" movement involved in a recent attack across the Egypt-Israel border which killed an Israeli civilian.

The strike killed Ghaleb Armiilat and seriously wounded Mohammed Rashdan, who was a member of the Tawhid and Jihad organisation, an ultra-militant group that the army said had played a "central role" in Monday's border attack.

The assassination came amid a new wave of apparently unconnected Israeli air strikes and Palestinian rocket attacks in Gaza which have left at least six Palestinians dead. Hamas's armed wing has claimed responsibility for many of the rocket attacks, after a year in which it had largely maintained an undeclared ceasefire.

The Tawhid and Jihad is an extreme Islamic group said to draw inspiration from al-Qa'ida and ideologically at odds with Hamas. The group last year kidnapped Vittorio Arrigoni. The group threatened to kill him unless Hamas released one of its leaders and when armed Hamas police stormed a house in a rescue attempt, they found the hanged body of the Italian.

Monday's cross-border attack claimed the lives of Said Fashfashe, an Israeli Arab worker on the new border security fence, and two militants.