Factbox - Assassinations claimed by or blamed on Israel

Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:18pm GMT

(Reuters) - An Israeli air strike killed Hamas military mastermind Ahmed Al-Jaabari this week. Here are some other assassinations in recent years attributed to Israel:

* Yahya Ayyash - elusive Islamic militant mastermind behind a wave of Palestinian suicide bombings nicknamed "The Engineer", was killed in then PLO-ruled Gaza. He died on January 5, 1996 when his cellular phone exploded in his hands. Palestinians blamed Israel, which declined to take responsibility. His Hamas group retaliated in four suicide attacks that killed 59 people in three Israeli cities over nine days in February and March.

* Sheikh Ahmed Yassin - Israel killed the spiritual leader of Hamas in a helicopter missile strike on March 22, 2004 as he left a mosque in Gaza City. Thousands of Palestinians marched in Gaza shouting calls of revenge and threatened to "send death to every home" in Israel.

* Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi - an Israeli helicopter missile strike on a car in Gaza City killed Hamas leader Rantissi on April 17, 2004. Two bodyguards were also killed, witnesses said.

* Adnan al-Ghoul - Hamas master bomber was killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on October 21, 2004. Ghoul was number 2 in the military wing of Hamas and known as the "Father of the Qassam" rocket, a makeshift missile frequently fired into Israeli towns.

* Nizar Rayyan - a cleric widely regarded as one of Hamas's most hardline political leaders, had called for renewed suicide bombings inside Israel. Two of his four wives and seven of his children were also killed in the bombing, in Jabalya refugee camp on January 1, 2009. Days later, an Israeli air strike killed Hamas's interior minister, Saeed Seyyam, in the Gaza Strip on January 15. Seyyam was in charge of 13,000 Hamas police and security men.

(Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)

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