Bringing an end to a manhunt that lasted more than 14 years, Israeli commandos killed senior Hamas terror leader Abed Majid Dudin in the southern Hebron hills on Thursday.
He planned at least two multiple suicide bombings in Jerusalem and outside Tel Aviv in 1995.
Five Israelis were murdered, and another 32 were killed in the bombing of Bus No. 20 in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan on July 24, 1995.
Another five Israelis were murdered, and another 107 were injured in the bombing of Bus No. 26 in front of Rene Cassin High School in Jerusalem’s Ramat Eshkol neighborhood on Aug. 21, 1995.
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In each of these bombing attacks, the perpetrator of these killings blew himself up together with his victims.
Dudin, 45, recruited the two bombers who perpetrated these attacks.
Shortly after the attacks, Palestinian Authority (PA) security officials arrested Dudin at the Israeli government’s insistence, and the Israelis formally asked for his extradition after his capture.
In order to block the extradition, the PA tried Dudin and sentenced him to 12 years imprisonment. However, he never went to prison and continued working unhindered as a Hamas operative.
Dudin returned to prison under the framework of the 1998 Wye Memorandum, which was signed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PA President Yasser Arafat. He was imprisoned in Hebron, but was released in 2001 in the early stages of the al-Aqsa intifada, which was coordinated by the Fatah and the Hamas, working under the direction of the PA security forces.
Dudin had been on Israel’s most wanted list ever since and served, until his death, as the commander of Hamas’ military wing in the southern Hebron hills area.
The Israeli security forces tried capturing Dudin on a number of occasions following his release from Palestinian prison. The Israel Police’s SWAT team reached Dudin in his hideout in the village Dura in the southern Hebron hills, killing him following an exchange of gunfire.
Hamas has accused the PA of assisting Israel locating Dudin and has threatened to carry out revenge attacks. The PA denies that it assisted Israel in locating and killing Dudin.
David Bedein can be reached at email@example.com