Palestinian medical and security sources reported on Thursday evening that Israeli army assassinated Jamal Abu Samahdana, general leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), General Supervisor of the Palestinian Authority’s Interior Ministry, and three of his companions in an air strike that targeted a training center that belongs to the PRC in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
The bodies of the four fighters were severely mutilated, medical sources in Gaza reported. At least seven residents were injured.
Eyewitnesses reported that the Israeli air force fired at least four missiles at the training center of the PRC killing Abu Samahdana, three fighters and injuring several members of the group.
Abu Mojahed, media spokesperson of the PRC, said that his group “will retaliate to this crime” and that the response will “strong and painful”.
“It is true that this is a painful strike, but resistance does not depend on one person”, Abu Mojahed stated, “The strike that does not killed us, makes us stronger and more determined, our path is still long”.
He added that the PRC will strike back inside Israel and that there are several planned operations that will be carried out from the Gaza Strip in the near future.
According to Abu Mojahed, Abu Samahdana was passing near the training center when he was assassinated.
The Israeli army carried eight assassination attempts against Abu Samahdana. He was wanted for the Israeli security since the first Intifada that erupted in 1987.
The Israeli army confirmed the strike and said that 11:30 p.m. On Thursday, an Air Force craft attacked a training camp of the Salah Al Deen Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, in the Rafah area.
According to an Israeli military source, the camp was at the time being used to train members of the PRC for a wide-scale attack, including training to cross the electronic border fence, the placing of explosives, and an attempt to attack one of the Israeli settlements near Gaza.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Information Minister Yousef Al-Rizka told the Al-Jazeera Arab news network after the assassination that "Israel’s Defense Minister, Amir Peretz, is proving that he is a criminal no less than Shaul Mofaz."
The Islamic Jihad slammed the attack and vowed retaliation. Senior Islamic Jihad leader Khaled Al Batsh said in response to the strike that “the crime will not pass without a response from the Palestinian resistance factions”.
Al Batsh added that the assassination is the “response Israel is making to those who want to hold a national referendum”.
Also, Hamas media spokesperson, Sami Abu Zuhri, said that this attack requires that the Palestinians reexamine their policies towards Israel.
Abu Zuhri added that the Palestinian people will stick to their right to defend themselves, and reserve the right to retaliate.