Border Police arrest knife-wielding Palestinian in West Bank
Crack undercover IDF unit kills senior Tanzim commander Ahmad Sanakra in Balata refugee camp near Nablus.
Border Policemen arrested a knife-wielding Palestinian who allegedly tried to stab one of them near the West Bank settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim on Friday. None of the policemen were injured in the incident, and the suspect was taken into custody for questioning.
A crack undercover unit of the Israel Defense Forces killed a senior member of the Fatah-affiliated Tanzim militant group in the West Bank early Friday, according to Army Radio.
In a pre-dawn raid Friday morning, soldiers from the elite Duvdevan ("Cherry") unit operating in the Balata refugee camp near the city of Nablus killed Ahmad Sanakra, 24, who served as the head of the Tanzim in Balata. In addition, Sanakra, who had been on Israel's wanted list for several years but repeatedly eluded capture, helped assemble bombs and explosives belts, some of which were found by IDF troops during prior operations.
Army Radio reported that Sanakra took refuge in his home with four other wanted Palestinians. After an exchange of gunfire with IDF troops, Sanakra was killed and the Palestinians were taken into custody.
The terror cell which he commanded was responsible for planning attacks deep inside Israel through the use of explosives. Sanakra was known to maintain contact via liaison with Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shi'ite group which directed and provided funds for the cell's activities.
Following Duvdevan's successful operation, the IDF's West Bank division commander, Brigadier-General Noam Tibon, paid a visit to the soldiers.
Tibon noted that Sanakra is the second senior militant killed by the same unit in the last 48 hours. Islamic Jihad's top military commander in the West Bank, Walid al-Obeidi, was killed early Wednesday morning during an IDF raid in a village near Jenin.
"By virtue of your actions, the citizens of Israel can sleep well," Tibon told the soldiers. "In the last three days, you've managed to close the circle on suspects wanted by Israel for a number of years."
In response to the killing of al-Obeidi, the militant group took part in a barrage of at least 28 Qassam rockets fired at southern Israel on Wednesday morning, causing damage to local kibbutzim. Several people were treated for shock.
The special forces entered Qabatiya, south of Jenin, in the early morning hours and surrounded the home in which the 44-year-old militant leader was hiding.
A gun battle broke out, and al-Obeidi eventually exited the home and opened fire on the special forces, who returned fire, killing him. Al-Obeidi had been wanted by Israel for years.
Four additional militants were with al-Obeidi at the time, two of whom were wounded in the exchange of fire and taken to Haemek Hospital in Afula for treatment. The remaining two militants were taken into custody by the IDF.
Al-Obeidi, a resident of the nearby village of Burkin, had been considered one of the more senior militants on Israel's wanted list since 2002. The defense establishment holds Al-Obeidi responsible for a series of terrorist attacks, including a suicide bombing at a Tel Aviv shawarma stand in April 2006 that killed 11 people.
Al-Obeidi was also responsible for numerous attempts to carry out suicide bombings in Israel during the Second Intifada. One of the bombers dispatched by Obeidi was captured by security services on Route 1, between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Later Wednesday, Palestinian terrorists opened fire on the Jewish settlement in the West Bank city of Hebron. The gunshots damaged children's rooms in two homes in the area, but caused no injuries. The assailants were able to flee the scene.