Who were the Islamic Jihad leaders killed in Israel's attack on Gaza?

Who were the Islamic Jihad leaders killed in Israel's attack on Gaza?
Islamic Jihad has vowed to 'avenge' the deaths of the Palestinians killed on Tuesday, including three of the groups leaders and several children.
2 min read
09 May, 2023
Jihad Ghannam and his wife were both killed by an Israeli strike which targeted their house

Israel's dawn air strikes on Gaza on Tuesday killed three leaders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, as well as ten civilians, including several children.

Jihad Ghannam

Jihad Ghannam, 62, was one of the most prominent leaders of the Al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad's military wing, and acted as secretary of the group’s secret military council.

Having held other senior positions in the group, Ghannam was wanted by Israel since the Second Palestinian Intifada, which broke out in 2000.

As a result, Israel had attempted to assassinate Ghannam on five previous occasions. He survived an Israeli bombing of his house in 2014 and prior to his death on Tuesday had also escaped an attempt on his life in 2021.

Ghannam was a veteran of Palestinian resistance groups and had worked with other factions prior to the formation of Islamic Jihad.

Ghannam’s wife Wafaa was also among those killed by Israel in Tuesday’s attack.

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Khalil Al-Bahtini

Khalil Al-Bahtini, 44, was considered another of the Al-Quds Brigades’ most prominent leaders and was their commander in northern Gaza.

He assumed control of operations in the area after his predecessor, Tayseer al-Jabari, was killed in August 2022. Al-Bahtini survived the three-day confrontation with Israel that year in which al-Jabari and around 46 other people in Gaza was killed.

Al-Bahtini was killed alongside his five-year-old daughter Hajar and another relative, Leila al-Bahtini.

Tariq Ezzedine

The deadly Israeli strike also targeted Tariq Ezzedine, a former prisoner from the northern West Bank town of Arraba who was deported to Gaza.

Ezzedine was last arrested by Israeli forces in 2002 and sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in attacks on Israeli occupation forces.

He was released as part of the Wafaa al-Ahrar prisoner swap deal in 2011, which saw more than a thousand Palestinians freed from Israeli detention.

Dentist's Association chief also killed

It has also been announced that Dr. Jamal Khaswan, the former chairman of the Gaza Dentists' Association, was killed in Tuesday's attack alongside his wife Mirfat and son Yousef.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Israeli army spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said Israel was "aware of some collateral".

“If there were some tragic deaths, we’ll look into it and get back to you,” Hecht said.

Tuesday's deaths bring to 121 the number of Palestinians killed by Israel so far this year.