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Yahya Ayyash

(1966 - 1996)

Yahya Ayyash was a terrorist and member of Hamas.

Ayyash was born on March 6, 1966 in Rafat near Nablus. He completed his secondary school education in Rafat with excellent grades that qualified him to study engineering at Beir Zeit University. Ayyash received a Bachelor's degree of electrical engineering in 1988. He became active in the ranks of Ezzul Deen Al Qassam Brigades in the beginning of 1992, where he specialized in making explosives from raw materials available in the Palestinian territories. He is credited with introducing the technique of suicide bombing in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Ayyash became one of the chief bomb-makers for Hamas. In that capacity, he earned the nickname “the Engineer.” The bombings he orchestrated caused the deaths of more than 70 Israelis.

He was killed by the Israeli Shin Bet on January 5, 1996 following a massive manhunt. Israeli agents were able to compromise one of Ayyash's fellow Hamas members, who gave him a cell phone full of explosives. When they confirmed Ayyash was using it, the Shin Bet detonated it, killing him instantly.

Sources: Palestine Information Center, Wikipedia