Three palestinians, including a senior Islamic Jihad commander, were killed in a missile attack on their car in Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood on Thursday night. Islamic Jihad commander Hazem Yasser Rahim, 24, had planned to launch a large-scale suicide attack in the coming days.
Rahim was one of the terrorists photographed snatching body parts of the six IDF soldiers killed in the Zeitoun neighborhood in May this year. Photos taken at the time showed Rahim riding a motorcycle holding the head of one of the dead soldiers.
Rahim was involved in several attacks against Israelis, but Yediot Ahronot said “the act that sealed his fate in Israeli eyes was the desecration of the remains of dead Israeli soldiers.”
Television reporters said Rahim seized the head of one soldier and waved it before their cameras. He later tried to negotiate the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for seized parts of the Israeli casualties. The parts were returned with the help of Egyptian mediation.
At the time, Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon pledged to hunt down those involved in the incident, saying, “We will show no forgiveness toward those who are responsible for (what happened to) the bodies.”
An IDF spokesman said Rahim was in the midst of planning a major attack that was to have been carried out in the coming days, and was behind other numerous attacks against soldiers and civilians in the Gaza Strip. Rahim was also involved in Kassam rocket and mortar shell attacks.
Rahim’s brother was killed by security forces when attempting to infiltrate Netzarim in north Gaza in April 2002.
The identities of the two other Palestinians killed in the missile attack have not yet been released, but security officials told The Jerusalem Post they believe they were also linked to the Islamic Jihad.