(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

In a security forces operation this evening in Gaza city, the IDF attacked a vehicle carrying senior Islamic Jihad terrorist, Mahmed Halil A-Latif Sheik Halil, a leader of the Islamic Jihad terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip who was responsible for murderous terror attacks.


Background information
(Communicated by Israeli security sources)

In a joint IDF and ISA operation tonight September 25, 2005, senior Islamic Jihad terrorist Mahmed Halil A-Latif Sheik Halil, responsible for the planning and execution of numerous terror attacks against Israeli targets, was killed.

Sheik Halil, aged 31 and a resident of Rafah had been a member of a Resistance Committee cell, led by Jamal Abu Smadnah, which carried out regular hand grenade and shooting attacks against IDF soldiers in Rafah. 

Since January 2001 Sheik Halil was a member of the Islamic Jihad terror organization and became involved in planning and carrying out terror attacks which included the detonation of explosive devices and the firing of mortar shells at the Israeli communities of Gush Katif. Sheik Halil, an explosives expert, operated to improve the quality and range of the mortar shells.

On June 29, 2001 Shiek Halil and additional terrorists were injured in a failed attempt to fire a mortar shell at an Israeli target. Following this incident Halil was promoted within the ranks of the terror organization and he became involved in planning and carrying out suicide bombings, infiltrations into Israeli communities and IDF posts in the Gaza Strip and the detonation of explosive devices against Israeli targets. He continued to be involved in the firing of mortar shells and anti-tank missiles against Israeli targets.

During this period Sheik Halil began to develop and manufacture weaponry and explosives and, aided by his brother – Ahmed Sheik Halil, was continuously involved in improving weaponry and explosive capabilities.

He was also involved in the purchase of upgraded weaponry, smuggling weaponry from Egypt and transferring weaponry from the northern Gaza Strip to the southern Gaza Strip.

Sheik Halil was involved with members of the Resistance Committees, the Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and the Hamas terror organization. These involvements included mutual aid in the manufacturing of weaponry, supplying of various explosives and weaponry and joint terror attacks.   

Key terror attacks in which Sheik Halil was involved:

July 2005 – Combined shooting attack with the Resistance Committees and al-Aqsa. Sheik Halil carried out and led the attack against an Israeli vehicle traveling along the Kissufim route in which two Israeli citizens were murdered and an additional five Israeli citizens were wounded.

September 2004 – Combined terror attack with the Resistance Committees and Fatah operatives. Infiltration into an IDF post securing the Israeli community of Morag in which three IDF soldiers were killed.

May 2, 2004 – Combined terror attack with the Resistance Committees; shooting attack against an Israeli vehicle traveling along on the Kissufim route in which Tali Hatuel and her four daughters were murdered.

May 12, 2004 – In a terror attack planned by Shiek Halil, an Islamic Jihad terrorist carried out the detonation of an explosive device against an IDF APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) near the Israeli-Egyptian border. After the initial explosion an RPG missile was launched at the damaged APC and caused an additional explosion inside the vehicle. Five IDF soldiers were killed and five additional soldiers were wounded.

May 2004 – Combined terror attack with the Resistance Committees. In a terror attack planned by Sheik Halil, terrorists detonated an explosive vehicle wired with 280 kg. of explosives near a civilian bus. Two IDF soldiers were wounded, they had been providing a military escort for the vehicle.

September 2002 – An explosive device was detonated at an IDF force along the Israeli-Egyptian border near Rafah. Two IDF soldiers were wounded in the attack. An additional explosive device was detonated with the arrival of the medical team. No injuries were reported.

April 2002 –  Sheik Halil orchestrated an infiltration attack in which two terrorists infiltrated the community of Rafiah Yam in the southern Gaza Strip and opened fire at the IDF force securing the community. An IDF soldier was killed and four additional soldiers were wounded in the attack.

March 2002 – Combined terror attack with the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Bridages. Shooting attack at an IDF force patrolling near the security fence surrounding the Gaza Strip. An IDF soldier was killed and three additional soldiers were wounded.