A look at Israel's targeted killings of militant leaders

A look at Israel's targeted killings of militant leaders over the years

JERUSALEM -- Israel killed a senior Islamic Jihad commander in an airstrike on Tuesday, resuming a contentious policy of targeted killings of militant leaders.

While once frequent, Israel has resorted to the strategy only occasionally in recent years. Tuesday's strike on the Gaza City home of Bahaa Abu el-Atta was the second such attack in five years to be claimed by Israel.

A look at some of the key targeted killings carried out by Israel over the years:

October 1995

Islamic Jihad founder Fathi Shikaki is shot in the head in Malta in an assassination widely believed to have been carried out by Israel.


July 2002

Hamas's second-in-command military leader Salah Shehadeh is killed by a one-ton bomb dropped on an apartment building.


March 2004

Hamas founder and spiritual leader Ahmed Yassin is killed in an Israeli helicopter strike. Yassin, paralyzed in a childhood accident, was a symbol of Palestinian resistance to Israel and among the founders of Hamas in 1987.


April 2004

Hamas political leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi is killed in an Israeli airstrike less than a month after he is named Yassin's successor.


January 2009

An Israeli airstrike during a three-week military offensive against Hamas in Gaza kills Said Siam, the interior minister in Hamas' government.


November 2012

Ahmad Jabari, head of Hamas' armed wing, is killed after an airstrike targets his car. His death sparks an eight-day war between Hamas and Israel, the second in three years.


August 2014

Senior Hamas commander Raed al-Attar, an architect of cross-border tunnels into Israel, is killed in an Israeli airstrike in the southern Gaza Strip.


May 2019

Israeli aircraft strike the car of Hamed Ahmed Abed Khudari, killing the senior Hamas commander who, according to the group, smuggled cash from Iran to Islamic Jihad and Hamas.


November 2019

An Israeli airstrike hits the home of Bahaa Abu el-Atta, a senior Islamic Jihad commander, killing him and his wife. It sparks the worst bout of cross-border fighting in months. The same morning, another airstrike targets Akram al-Ajouri, an Islamic Jihad commander in Syria's capital Damascus, but he is unharmed.


Akram reported from Gaza City, Gaza Strip.