Tuesday, April 3 2:04 AM SGT
Chronology of Israel's assasinations of Palestinians
JERUSALEM, April 2 (AFP) -
The slaying of an Islamic Jihad activist in the Gaza Strip in an Israeli helicopter strike on Monday was the latest in a series of targeted killings of militants that the Palestinians have condemned as state assassinations.
The practice, acknowledged by Israel which has vowed to strike against those it suspects of anti-Israeli attacks, has come under fire from both the United States and the European Union as well as international human rights groups.
The Palestinians say some 20 militants have been killed in such attacks since early November, among them members of Islamic Jihad, its larger rival Hamas as well as Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction and his elite Force 17 presidential security force.
Israeli cabinet minister Ephraim Sneh said Monday's killing of Mohammed Abdel Al in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip was a "preventative" operation.
"He is the type of person we must target if we want seriously to combat the violence," Sneh told army radio, saying he had been involved in numerous deadly bombings over the years and had been planning a massive attack in the Gaza Strip.
Abdel Al's killing was the first such attack since hardline Prime Minister Ariel Sharon took office March 7 on the promise of restoring security to the citizens of Israel.
Following is a list of some of the main deadly strikes by Israel against Palestinian militants.
March 28: The Israeli army blasts Force 17 targets in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, killing one member of the force, as well as a Palestinian and a member of another Palestinian security force.
March 21: The Israeli army shelled a Force 17 training base, killing an officer identified as Lieutenant Kamil al-Jawad, 28.
February 19: Mahmud el-Madani, 25, a member of Hamas's armed wing who had been jailed twice by Israel under administrative detention, was shot and killed in the Balata refugee camp near the northern West Bank town of Nablus.
February 13: Israel kills Massud Ayyad, 50, a high-ranking Force 17 official suspected heading a militant cell of the Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla movement
December 31: Thabet Thabet, a doctor who headed Fatah in the town of Tulkarem and was director general of the Palestinian health ministry, was shot dead.
December 13 - Hamas militant Abbas Osman Awidi was killed as he was standing outside his shop near a heavily fortified Jewish enclave in the divided West Bank town of Hebron. Awidi had spent five years in an Israeli jail, according to residents.
December 12: Fatah militant Yusef Ahmed Abu Suwai, 28, was gunned down by Israeli soldiers while he standing outside his home in the West Bank village of Artas near Bethlehem. Fatah sources said Israel had been hunting for Abu Suwai for five years, suspecting him of smuggling arms.
December 11: Anwar Mahmoud Hamran, 22, a member of Islamic Jihad was shot near an army post in the northern West Bank town of Nablus. Residents said he had been released about six weeks before after spending two years in a Palestinian jail.
December 10: Fatah militant Mahmoud Yusef Moghrabi, 25, was killed on a bypass road used by Jewish settlers to the west of Beit Jala near Bethlehem. Israel said he had been planting a bomb.
November 26: Four Hamas militants were killed in an Israeli commando raid near the village of Habla in the northern West Bank.
November 23: Ibrahim Beni Ouda, a leader of Hamas's armed wing Ezzedin al-Qassam was blown up in a car in Nablus. His cousin was sentenced to death by a Palestinian state security court for treason for allegedly collaborating with Israel in the killing.
November 22: Israeli troops shot and killed four Palestinians during an army ambush against a Fatah militant in the southern Gaza Strip. Jamal Abdel Razeq, who died in the attack, was suspected of involvement in a series of attacks. He had been jailed by Israel in 1992 and 1999.
November 9: Hussein Suyef Abeyat, 37, head of Fatah's armed militias in the southern West Bank, was killed when the vehicle he was driving was blown apart by a missile fired from an Israeli gunship near the West Bank village of Beit Sahur.