Israel killed a top leader of an al-Qaida-inspired Gaza group in an airstrike, the military said on Sunday, delivering a significant blow in Israel’s campaign against the shadowy fighters.

The Israeli military said Hisham Saidani (43) was suspected of carrying out attacks against Egyptian and Israeli targets but provided no further information.

Saidani led a small group, “Tawhid wal Jihad”, or “Monotheism and Holy War,” believed to be responsible for killing of an Israeli civilian working along the Egyptian border last June. He was also linked to the Mujahideen Shura Council, another militant group operating in Gaza and Egypt’s neighbouring Sinai desert.

Followers of Saidani were responsible for kidnapping and killing Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni in Gaza in March 2011. Saidani later denounced the act.

Keywords: Israelal-QaedaGaza

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