IDF Spokeswoman Completely Denies Hinting Israel Coordinated Gaza Hit With Washington

IDF confirms assassinating Army of Islam operative Mohammed Nimnim, killed earlier Wednesday when his car exploded in Gaza City.

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An Israel Defense Forces spokeswoman said Thursday that she had been completely misquoted ina reported that hinted the army's assassination of a Islamist militant leader in Gaza had been cleared in advance with Washington.

"I did not, in any way, say that," said the spokesman. DPA told Haaretz that they spoke with the IDF spokeswoman and had agreed to publish an additional story in which she was given an opportunity to clarify her remarks.

A Palestinian Hamas police officer examines a destroyed car after an explosion in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010Credit: AP

Asked whether Israel had coordinated the hit on Mohammed Nimnim, a commander in the Army of Islam group, with its American ally, the spokesman did not respond.

She did, however, refer to the tight relationship between the army and the U.S.

"Without getting specifically into more details, I can tell you there is very good cooperation between us and the Americans," she said.

"We have an ongoing relationship with the Americans, as well as with other forces, and from time to time we pass on information as with other sources," she said.

Nimnim, 37, was killed instantaneously when his car exploded outside a police station in Gaza City. Witness suggested the car was hit by a missile, while some media reports attributed the explosion to a planted bomb.

Palestinian security officials said later that they believed the explosion was caused by a bomb concealed under the drivers' seat.

Israel initially refused to comment on the attack but the IDF later confirmed it had carried out a joint operation with the Shin Bet security service.

The spokeswoman referred to Nimnim as a "ticking bomb", saying he was part of an al Qaida-linked group that was planning attacks on Israel and U.S. targets in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

In 2006, Army of Islam militants cooperated with Hamas in a cross-border raid to capture Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Last year it also kidnapped a British journalist, Alan Johnston. Johnston was released four months later but Shalit remains in Hamas captivity.

The last targeted killing of a Palestinian militant was on October 7, when Israel assassinated a member of the armed wing of the radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine movement.

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