Former longtime Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader dies

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Palestinian Islamic Jihad says its longtime former leader has died after a long illness. The 62-year-old Ramadan Shalah died Saturday evening. He had been in a coma for more than three years after heart surgery and is believed to have died in Lebanon. Shalah led the Iranian-backed group for over 20 years, until 2018. The group has offices in Syria and Lebanon, but most of its activities are focused in the Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip. Last year it took part in several rounds of heavy fighting with Israel, but in recent months it has remained committed to an unofficial truce brokered by regional mediators between Israel and Hamas, the larger Islamic group ruling Gaza.