Jerusalem – As part of a joint Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli intelligence operation yesterday, Israeli aerial attacks were carried out in which the IDF identified hitting Army of Islam terrorists involved in recent attempts to execute a large-scale terror attack against Israeli targets.

Among the terrorists killed were Ma’ataz Dagmesh, 29, resident of Gaza; Mahmud Shandi, 25, resident of Al-Hawa; and Muhamad Asaliya, 21, resident of the UNRWA refugee camp of Jabaliya – three senior terrorists within the organization.

Mr. Dagmesh, whose brother is the Army Of Islam commander in Gaza, was the leader and planner of the thwarted terror attack. Mr. Asaliya served as the organization’s senior “terror attack planner.”

The Army of Islam is an Islamist organization that represents al-Qaida in the Gaza Strip, while advocating worldwide jihad. The organization was involved in numerous attacks against Israel, including:

* The abduction of the Israeli soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit in a joint attack with Hamas on Kerem Shalom Crossing, June 25, 2006, killing two other soldiers.

* The abduction of British reporter Alan Johnston, who was incarcerated for four months, released only on July 4, 2007.

* A joint attack with Hamas in December 2005 in which five Israeli civilians were killed.

* In February 2006, the organization attempted to carry out a car bomb attack on the Karni crossing.

In late September 2007, the organization was planning a terror attack by sea. The attack was thwarted when several of the terrorists were killed.

David Bedein can be reached at His Web site is

©The Bulletin 2008


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.