Izz El-Deen Sheikh Khalil

Izz El-Deen Sheikh Khalil

Izz El-Deen Sobhi Sheikh Khalil (alternately Ezzeddine) ( _ar. عز الدين الشيخ خليل) ("circa" 1962/1964 - September 26, 2004), from the Shajaiyeh district of Gaza City, presently a Hamas stronghold, was a senior member of the military wing of the Palestinian Islamist guerrilla group Hamas when he was blown apart in an automobile booby trap on September 26 2004, in the al-Zahera district of southern Damascus, Syria. The car bombing was blamed on the Israeli government, who have not officially claimed responsibility.

The white Pajero SUV he had just started was utterly demolished and burst into flames, charring the body almost beyond recognition. Pieces were assembled and scraped off the back seat to be carted to a nearby hospital for identification. Another car windshield and nearby ground-floor and second-story windows were shattered by the blast, and three by-standers were injured.

Israeli security officials had said that two bus bombings that killed 16 civilians in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba on August 31 would be answered with a renewed assassination campaign against Hamas leaders.

Khalil was expelled from Israel in 1992, one among a group of some 400 Palestinian militants who were deported to Lebanon in the early 1990s. He based himself in Damascus with other senior Hamas leaders, which was safer than the West Bank and Gaza Strip where Hamas guerrilla leaders are routinely assassinated by Israeli air strikes.

Khalil's name was rendered Izz al-Din al-Sheikh Khalil by CNN, Izz Eldine Subhi Sheik Khalil by Fox News, Izz El-Deen Sheikh Khalil by the BBC, and Izz al-Din al-Shaikh Khalil by Al Jazeera.

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