Israeli airstrike kills DFLP militant leader in Gaza

Israel Materials 15 April 2008 11:36 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - An Israeli airstrike in northern Gaza killed a top commander in the radical left Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) early Tuesday, the DFLP said.

Witnesses said an Israeli drone fired one missile directly at Ibrahim Abu O'lba, 34, as he walked in the town of Beit Lahiya, killing him and wounding two other civilian bystanders.

An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed the targeted airstrike, saying O'lba was involved in a series of infiltration attempts into Israel, including one in August, during which two DFLP militants entered an Israeli community near the Gaza Strip, but were spotted by Israeli soldiers.

The two attackers were killed and three soldiers injured in an ensuing firefight.

O'lba, the DFLP's northern Gaza Strip leader, was also involved in rocket attacks against southern Israel, she said.

The DFLP confirmed his death in a leaflet sent to reporters.

Meanwhile, Palestinian security sources said a special Israeli army force drove into the central Gaza Strip early Tuesday, reaching the eastern outskirts of al-Bureij.

The sources said that clashes erupted in the area with local militants, during which an Israeli aircraft covering the ground force fired one missile at the militants. No injuries were reported.

Israeli troops were also operating east of Khan Younis, near the border in the south of the strip, residents said.