March 8, 2003

Senior Hamas Leader Killed in IDF Operation
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

Today, March 8, 2003, Ibrahim Ahmed Haled Makadme was killed in an Israel Defense Force helicopter operation in the Gaza Strip. Makadme was one of the founders of the Hamas and was, along with Salah Shehade and Muhammed Deif, one of the top commanders of Gaza’s Iz a-Din al Kassam faction, the organization’s terrorist wing.

Two other Palestinian terrorists were killed together with Makadme in the operation. They were the Haled Joumeh, aged 32, and Ala Shukri, aged 30, Hamas operatives who were planning a terror attack in Israel and had smuggled explosives into Israel for that purpose. Joumeh was also the commander of a Hamas terrorist cell that launched Kassam rockets toward Israeli communities in the Gaza District and southern Israel.

Commanded and Orchestrated the Hamas Terror Campaign

Makadme was considered the most extreme and uncompromising figure among the Hamas leadership. He stood in the forefront of those calling for radical actions against Israel and objected to the cease-fire talks being held by other Palestinian factions.

Makadme was one of the dominant figures of the group, who orchestrated, approved and expedited the Hamas’ Gaza-based terrorist operations. He had been a top leader of the group’s military wing for the past two decades, and his influence in the organization grew in particular since the founding of the Palestinian Authority in 1994.

When he first joined the Hamas, Makadme established a special armed apparatus for the ‘Islamic Brotherhood’ code-named ‘Majd’. Its task was to obtain weapons for Hamas operatives. In 1983, Makadme was arrested for the first time by Israeli security forces. He was charged with possession of weapons, intent to purchase weapons, and for founding a terrorist organization. He was tried and sentenced to eight years imprisonment. Following his release the an Israeli prison, he established an clandestine armed faction within the Hamas which, together with terrorist attacks against Israelis, also carried out attacks against Palestinian Authority policemen

Makadme was arrested by the Palestinian Authority 1996, yet released a year later, in March 1997. Thereafter, together with Salah Shehade and Muhammed Deif, Makadme strengthened the terrorist infrastructure of the Hamas, determined its policy and carried out its operational strategy. Following the death of Shehade and the injury of Deif, Makadme established himself as one of the senior commanders of the armed wing of the organization, and continued its terrorist operations in keeping with his own extremist ideology.

Makadme Praised and Encouraged Suicide Terrorism

On more than one occasion Makadme declared publicly that suicide attacks were a preferred tactic and he praised the mothers who sent their sons to carry out such suicide missions. He called Um Naidel, the mother of the suicide bomber Muhammad Farihat, a "noble woman, a symbol to the Islamic nation, giving honor to the Islamic nation."

In addition, Makadme dedicated his time to educating the younger generation in the principles of ‘Jihad’ (holy war against heretics) "until all of historic Palestine is liberated and an Islamic-Palestinian state is established."

Hamas’ Terrorist Wing Responsible for Many Terror Attacks

The Gaza faction of the Iz a-Din al Kassam military wing of the Hamas, under Makadme’s leadership, is responsible for a long series of terror attacks against Israeli targets, which have resulted in the deaths of 28 Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers, and the wounding of dozens more.

Listed below are some of the major terror attacks Makadme orchestrated:

  • June 2001 – A booby-trapped Jeep was detonated alongside an IDF patrol near Dugit, killing two Israeli soldiers and wounding a third.
  • October 2001 – Two terrorists infiltrated the Israeli community of Elei Sinai. Two Israeli teenagers were murdered in the attack and thirteen others were wounded.
  • November 2001 – Mortars were fired toward Kfar Darom, killing an IDF soldier and wounded two others.
  • January 2002 – Two terrorists infiltrated the ‘Africa’ outpost. Four IDF soldiers were killed in the attack.
  • March 2002 – Armed terrorist infiltrated the Atzmona community. Five Israeli seminary students were killed in the attack.
  • June 2002 – A car-bomb attack followed by an machine-gun ambush near Dugit leaves three Israeli soldiers dead.
  • January 2003 – A explosive-laden raft piloted by a suicide terrorist is detonated en route to Israel when an Israel Navy boat detects its presence along Gaza’s shore near Dugit.
  • February 2003 – A powerful explosive device is detonated beneath an IDF tank near Dugit. Four IDF soldiers were killed in the attack.

    It should be noted that the military wing of the Hamas in the Gaza Strip carries out its terrorist operations while taking advantage of the fact that there is no prolonged Israeli military presence in the Gaza Strip, except during specific military operations. Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority’s Preventative Security Service does nothing to prevent their heinous Palestinian terror attacks, which have claimed a heavy toll from among Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers.