Earlier today, in an effort to stop the terrorist group Hamas’ ability to launch terror attacks against Israeli citizens, Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense.
In a joint operation of the IDF and the ISA, Ahmed Said Halil Jabari, chief of the Hamas military arm in the Gaza Strip, was killed. Jabari was responsible for all Hamas terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip during the last decade.
Jabari was involved in planning and arranging funding for military activities and terrorist attacks against Israel. Jabari became the operational head of the militant wing at the height of the armed Palestinian terror war against Israel from 2000-2007, which claimed the lives of over 1,500 Israeli civilians.
During the last few years, Jabari led Hamas’s military arm in a series of events that shaped the reality in the Gaza Strip – such as the Hamas take-over in 2007, and directing the cycles of escalation against Israel.
Jabari was involved in orchestrating the attack in June 2006 in which several IDF soldiers were killed and the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped.
After Shalit was kidnapped, and throughout the years of negotiating a deal for his release, Jabari headed the Hamas negotiation team and took an extremist and hawkish position.
Jabari, 52, a resident of Gaza, was involved in military activity from the early 1980s and served until his death as the senior military commander of Hamas. In the past he was close to Hamas founder Sheikh Yassin and operated under his patronage. Jabari started his military career in Fatah and took part in a number of terrorist attacks on Israeli targets. For these activities he was imprisoned in Israel for thirteen years, serving a sentence from 1982 until his release in January 1995.
Already in 1995 Jabari began to manage an association for the support and benefit of Hamas prisoners and up until today managed the Nur Association for the aid of released Hamas prisoners, which was under the auspices of Sheikh Yassin. In this role he managed a huge system of financial transfers to support Hamas inmates and their families and the families of killed terrorists.
While in prison, Jabari’s views became more extreme. He joined the Hamas organization and served as the representative of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad prison inmates. His years in prison, his extreme views and his prison activities assured Jabari of a senior position in the Hamas leadership upon his release.
Since his release from prison, Jabari was involved in various activities and senior positions in the Hamas organization. He simultaneously served as the senior military commander, directed terrorist cells throughout the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and was involved in arms smuggling, as well as fulfilling various organizational positions in the movement.
As part of the top military echelon, he was involved in promoting and implementing a series of major terror attacks.
In September 2010, Jabari threatened to increase attacks against Israel to derail the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. “With the power of faith, weapons and missiles, tunnels and commandos we will achieve victory for Palestine and we’ll end the occupation in Gaza too,” he said.