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Top Hamas militant killed ahead of key Israeli vote

Top Hamas militant killed ahead of key Israeli vote
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The man known as the “Father of the Qassam” rocket has been killed in an Israeli attack ahead of a crucial parliamentary vote on Ariel Sharon’s Gaza withdrawal plan. Adnan al-Ghoul, Palestinian militant group Hamas’s top bomb and rocket maker, died in a missile strike in the Gaza Strip. He had been on Israel’s most wanted list since 1987 and had survived several previous assassination attempts. His supporters immediately took to the streets, vowing revenge.

There has been an upsurge of violence in the region since Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced his controversial withdrawal plan that will see thousands of Jewish settlers pulling out of Gaza and the West Bank by the end of next year. Sharon will present his plan to the Israeli parliament early next week for a vote of approval. Despite stiff opposition, even from within his own Likud party, his aides say he has enough support to win the vote. But it has come at a price, security around the prime minister has been stepped up amid fears extremists may try to kill him.