Nayrab, 43, who is better known by his
pseudonym Abu Awad
, knew that it was only a matter of time before Israel retaliated for the day's attacks near Eilat and the Egyptian border that claimed the lives of eight Israelis.
Although the group had denied responsibility for the attacks, Abu Awad
, who had long been wanted by Israel, knew that he
friends were potential targets.
That's why they decided to go into hiding.
What they did not know was that the IDF had already discovered the place where they were staying.
About six hours after the terrorist attacks, Abu Awad
and four of his
friends were killed by two rockets that hit the house where they were hiding in Rafah
The death of Abu Awad
, who played a major role in the abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit five years ago, has been described by his friends and family as a "severe and painful blow" to the Popular Resistance Committees
death is a huge loss for the resistance groups in the Gaza Strip
," said Ziad Sha'ath, a longtime friend of Abu Awad
"It has really hurt us."
A Palestinian journalist described Abu Awad
as one of the most senior militiamen in the southern Gaza Strip.
was considered a big military commander," the journalist said.
"The Popular Resistance Committees
will never be the same after Abu Awad
According to the journalist, the Israeli air strike wiped out the most important leaders of the Popular Resistance Committees
, an alliance of armed groups that has been responsible for dozens, if not hundreds, of attacks on Israelis over the past decade.
Abu Awad co-founded the Popular Resistance Committees with Jamal Abu Samhadanah (nicknamed Abu Ataya) after the start of the second intifada in September 2000.
and Jamal Abu managed to increase the range of rocket-propelled grenades and were responsible for manufacturing bombs that penetrated an IDF Merkava tank a year later in the Gaza Strip
friends predicted that his death would "complicate" efforts to secure the release of Schalit.
Abu Awad joined Fatah during the first intifada, which began in 1987.
A few years later he
fled to Egypt, where he
was detained by Egyptian security forces being allowed to travel to Libya.
After the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, he and a number of his colleagues returned to the Gaza Strip, where he worked as an intelligence officer in the Palestinian Authority's security forces.