Israel Kills Top Hamas Militant in West Bank Shootout

Israeli special forces kill Ali Sweiti, wanted for shooting Border Policeman Yaniv Mashiah in Hebron in April 2004.

Israeli army special forces on Monday stormed a house in Beit Awa south of Hebron, killing a senior Hamas militant.

Ali Sweiti
IDF Spokesman

IDF troops laid siege to a house early on Monday morning where Ali Sweiti, wanted for killing an IDF Border Policeman six years ago, was holed up.

Sweiti refused demands to surrender and opened fire on soldiers surrounding the house, the army said, adding that Israeli troops had returned fire.

Sweiti was apparently crushed to death after an IDF bulldozer was sent in the midst of the fire fight to demolish his house.

Sweiti is thought to have planned an attack in which of Border Policeman Cpl. Yaniv Mashiah was killed on April 25, 2004.

Mashiah, 20, was killed and three others lightly wounded an hour after the beginning of Memorial Day for Israel's fallen soldiers when shots were fired at their vehicle near Hebron.

A statement released by the army later Monday said that Sweiti, born in Beit Awa in 1968, was reponsible for five shooting attacks and a bombing between 1999 and 2004.

Sweiti escaped an earlier attempt to arrest him in February 2007, the army said.