Islamic Master Bomber

Mahmoud Abu Hanoud, senior West Bank commander of the Islamist Hamas military arm, evaded every Israeli attempt to capture him for more than six years, the while planning and executing some of the most excruciating terrorist attacks ever inflicted on Israeli civilians. They included most recently the Tel Aviv disco bombing in June in which 20 teenagers died and the August pizzeria bombing outrage in Jerusalem, which left 15 people dead.
Those terrorist strikes were executed after an Israeli elite unit’s failed to capture him in his village in an operation that ended in three Israeli soldiers dead. Since then, Abu Hanoud has been living and working in secret, under close guard.
If the dead bomber appeared to live a charmed life, it was because he was protected by a close friend from his childhood, Mohamed Dahlan, chief of the Palestinian Authority’s Preventive Security Service in Gaza.
Israel finally caught up with Abu Hanoud Friday night. An Apache helicopter missile pinpointed the minivan in which he and two Hamas activists, brothers, were traveling on a road near Nablus. His two subordinates were killed on the spot. Hanoud jumped out of the vehicle and tried to escape. The helicopter chased him and shot him dead.
The fundamentalist Hamas declared three days mourning. The official Palestinian media reflected pain for the loss of this most active and dedicated of super-bombers, who was buried in the West Bank city of Jenin (known as “SuicidesCity”) Saturday by a funeral procession of tens of thousands. Hamas political leader Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi said the attack came under American sponsorship. “It is a war between us and them.”

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