another one bites the dust

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    Last Update: 22/09/2003 14:06

    IDF troops kill Palestinian gunman in Hebron

    By Amos Harel and Arnon Regular, Haaretz Correspondents

    IDF troops destroyed a house in the West Bank city
    of Hebron on Monday, killing a top Hamas militant
    who was holed up inside.

    The army identified the dead man as Basel Qawasmeh, the last remaining senior Hamas militant in the Hebron area. The army said he was involved in orchestrating many terror attacks in which dozens of Israelis were killed.

    Qawasmeh, who was armed with a machine gun, exchanged fire with the troops. An IDF bulldozer then demolished the building in which he was holed up, killing him.

    The forces arrived at the house before dawn during a routine search for wanted men in the area. The residents of the house came out and told the forces that a masked, armed fugitive had entered their home and threatened them at gunpoint.

    The army said Qawasmeh was involved in the planning of two suicide attacks on buses in Jerusalem, including the attack on the No. 2 bus last month in which 23 people were killed, many of them ultra-Orthodox worshippers on their way back from praying at the Western Wall.

    Qawasmeh is said to have recruited the bombers
    as well as those who helped them enter Jerusalem. He headed most of Hamas' military activity in the South Hebron Hills area when the IDF was exercising intense pressure on Hamas leaders there several months ago.

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