Terrorists belonging to the Army of Islam, the organization involved in the Shalit and Johnston kidnappings, were killed.

(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

As part of a joint IDF and ISA operation today, aerial attacks were carried out in which the IDF identified hitting Army of Islam terrorists involved in recent attempts to execute a large-scale terror attack against Israeli targets.

Among the terrorists killed were Ma’ataz Dagmesh, 29, resident of Gaza, Mahmud Shandi, 25, resident of Al-Hawa and Muhamad Asaliya, 21, resident of the Jabaliya R.C – three senior terrorists within the organization. Dagmesh, whose brother is the organization leader in the Gaza Strip, was the leader and planner of the thwarted terror attack. Asaliya served as the organization’s senior terror attacks planner.

The Army of Islam is an extreme Islamist organization that represents Al-Qaeda in the Gaza Strip, and preaches worldwide Jihad. The organization was involved in numerous attacks against Israel, including:

  • The abduction of the soldier Gilad Shalit in a joint attack with Hamas on Kerem Shalom Crossing on June 25, 2006, killing two other soldiers.
  • The abduction of British reporter Alan Johnston, who was incarcerated for 4 months, released only on July 4, 2007.
  • A joint attack with Hamas in December 2005 in which 5 Israeli civilians were killed.
  • In February 2006, the organization attempted to carry out a car bomb attack on the Karni crossing.

In late September 2007, the organization was planning a marine based terror-attack. The attack was thwarted when several of the terrorists were killed.