GAZA (Reuters) - An Israeli strike in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip killed a member of a fringe Palestinian Islamist group on Wednesday, the Israeli military and Hamas said.
The attack targeted a car outside a Palestinian police headquarters and shook the city of Gaza during a period of relative calm while Hamas has been trying to impose order since its 2008-2009 war with Israel.
“An attack was executed against an Army of Islam leader,” an Israeli military spokeswoman said. “He was killed in the operation.”
Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman Ehab Al-Ghsain said, “the explosion of the car resulted from a Zionist air raid.” He identified the dead man as Mohammed Jamal al-Nimnim.
Sources in militant movements in Gaza said Nimnim belonged to the Army of Islam, a splinter group inspired by al Qaeda and a rival to Hamas.
An Israeli military statement said Nimnim “directed several attacks against Israeli targets in recent years.
The Army of Islam joined forces with Hamas in the 2006 cross-border abduction of an Israeli soldier, but the alliance has not endured.
Writing by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Editing by Matthew Jones