An Israeli air strike on southern Gaza on Wednesday killed a “global jihad” militant who put together a deadly ambush on Israel’s border with Egypt, the military said.
The strike targeted a man riding a motorcycle in the southern city of Rafah which lies on the border with Egypt, killing 21-year-old Ghaleb Ermilat, Palestinian medics said. Another person was wounded in the strike.
Residents said Ermilat was an activist with the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Gaza’s ruling Hamas movement.
His death raised to seven the number of Palestinians killed in three days of violence in and around Gaza. Another six people were wounded.
In a statement, the military said the air force had targeted “a global jihad terror operative involved in the planning and execution of a terror attack on Monday, June 18 against Israeli construction workers on the Israel-Egypt border, in which an Israeli civilian was killed.”
During Monday’s attack along the Egyptian border, at least three militants sneaked into southern Israel from Sinai and ambushed two civilian cars carrying Israeli construction workers, killing one and sparking a firefight in which two of the gunmen died.
The third is understood to have fled back to Egypt.
On Tuesday, a previously unknown Islamist group claimed responsibility for the attack in a video message reported by the U.S.-based monitoring service, SITE Intelligence.
The video, which was made by the “Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem,” showed two gunmen standing in front of Al-Qaeda’s black flag saying they were poised to carry out an attack against Israel.
One claimed to be from Egypt, while the other said he was from Saudi Arabia.