Israeli missile kills 12-year-old boy

Published Feb 7, 2004


Gaza - An Israeli helicopter slammed a missile into a car in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, killing a 12-year-old boy and wounding three Islamic militants who were travelling inside the vehicle, witnesses said.

One of those wounded in the strike was Aziz al-Shami, a leader of Islamic Jihad's military wing, which has carried out scores of suicide bombings against Israel. Al-Shami was a bodyguard and relative of Islamic Jihad chief Abdallah al-Shami.

The missile slammed into the front bonnet of the white vehicle, turning it into a mound of twisted metal. The three Islamic Jihad militants inside were rushed to hospital with serious injuries.

At least three passersby, including the boy who later died, were hit by shrapnel shards, hospital officials said.

"I heard the three helicopters. I saw them overhead and suddenly a big explosion happened," witness Ahmed Nahal told Reuters.

"I saw the car caught fire. The driver had lost his leg which was lying outside the car," Nahal added.

Israel has killed scores of Palestinian militants in helicopter missile attacks on their cars since a Palestinian uprising began in September 2000. The strikes have been widely condemned by the international community.

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