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Israel is intent on eliminating Palestinian resistance, Hamas said in a statement Monday after a senior militant was killed by the Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank.

Ali Sweiti, wanted for killing an IDF Border Guard six years ago, was killed earlier Monday after IDFs special forces stormed a house where he was hiding in Beit Awa south of Hebron.

In the statement quoted by Army Radio, Hamas said the killing was "evidence of the enemy's aspirations to eliminate Palestinian resistance in preparation of a more significant elimination plan".

"The will of the resistance will stay alive despite the crimes committed by the occupation," the statement added.

Sweiti, wanted for masterminding the killing of Border Policeman Cpl. Yaniv Mashiah near Hebron on April 25 2004, refused to surrender after being surrounded earlier Monday by IDF forces in Beit Awa south of Hebron.

Israeli troops surrounding the house returned fire after the Hamas strongman shot at them, the army said.

Sweiti was then apparently crushed to death after an IDF bulldozer demolished his house.