10 Mar 2012

Militant leader killed in Israeli strike on Gaza

7:04 am on 10 March 2012

An Israeli airstrike in Gaza has killed a Palestinian militant leader and a prisoner released last year as part of the deal to free Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The attack on Friday came hours after two mortar shells were fired from Gaza into Israel.

Israel's main target in the attack was Zohair al-Qaisi, the leader of an umbrella group of local militant organisations called the Popular Resistance Commitees, the BBC reports.

It is behind many of the mortar and rocket attacks which continue to be launched against Israeli towns from Gaza.

The BBC reports it is understood the other man who died was among the thousand or so Palestinian inmates let out as part of the deal which freed Mr Shalit in October last year after five years of captivity.