JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two Palestinian terrorist operatives were killed when Israeli airstrikes hit their car in southern Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces said.
One of the men, Anis Abu Mahmoud el-Anin, was in the final stages of preparing to carry out a terrorist attack against Israeli civilians, the IDF said. The other man killed was Ashraf Mahmoud Salah, who also was affiliated with the Popular Resistance Committees and was involved in the planning of a suicide attack in Israel.
El-Anin and Salah, both 33 and from Rafah, were affiliated with the Hamas-sponsored Defenders of al-Aqsa terror organization in the Gaza Strip, the IDF said.
The operation was carried out jointly by the IDF and the Shin Bet security service.
The Palestinian Ma’an news service reported that the men were members of the security forces of the Hamas government, and that they had been sent to the area to secure the border with Egypt.
"The IDF will not tolerate any attempt by terrorist groups to harm Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers, and will continue to operate with strength and determination against those who use terror against the State of Israel," the statement said.