RAMALLAH, April 26 (JMCC) - Hamas
commander Ali Sweiti was killed in an early morning Israeli military operation at a home in Beit Awa
, southern Hebron.
Palestinian official sources confirmed that Sweiti was killed after a long stand-off in which there was an exchange of gunfire.
Hundreds of Israeli military vehicles surrounded the house that Sweiti was in during the early morning hours, said Issa Musalma, secretary of Beit Awa. They called for him to surrender himself. Hours after the women and children had left the house, when Sweiti continued to refuse to surrender, there was an exchange of fire.
Israeli forces fired missiles at the house from helicopters, and after hours of clashes, Israeli military bulldozers began to destroy the house on Sweiti's head, said Musalma.
The Beit Awa official said at press time that Sweiti's body had already been retrieved and buried.
Clashes broke out in the village between Palestinian youth and Israeli soldiers during the operation, and ten Palestinians were injured, said Musalma.
Sweiti, the 45-year-old leader of the Hamas armed wing, was wanted by Israel for at least six years for a 2004 shooting attack on border policemen.
An Israeli military spokesperson told Israeli Radio that the military surrounded the house of the wanted man, when he fired at us, we liquidated him without sustaining injuries to any of our soldiers.