IDF kills at least 2 Palestinians planting bombs in Gaza Strip
IDF troops killed at least two Palestinians on Thursday afternoon near the Gaza Strip settlement of Netzarim, as they were trying to plant explosive devices, an IDF spokesman said.
The precise number of Palestinians killed is unclear. One of the cell members was arrested.
Apparently, two or three of the cell members were killed by Givati troops, but the bodies were removed by Palestinians. During the incident an explosive device was set off near the troops, but there were no injuries.
Earlier in the day, IDF troops killed a Palestinian gunman who opened fire at them in the same area.
Also Thursday, a dummy rocket, originally thought to be a Qassam rocket, was found near the West Bank settlement of Migdal Oz. The rocket, which was ready for launching, was directed at the settlement of Efrat, and was intended to lure soldiers to the area, where a 10-kilogram explosive device was later found.
The rocket was found during patrols carried out by IDF troops in the village of Beit Fajar, south of Bethlehem, which is situated in Area B, under Israeli security control and Palestinian civilian control.
In the vicinity of Jenin, security forces arrested twenty wanted Palestinians on Thursday morning, in a wide-scale arrest operation in the area. Fifteen of the wanted men were arrested in the town of Kabatiya. Most of the men arrested are members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. IDF troops in the area also detected and safely detonated a ten kilogram explosive device that had been planted in a pile of rocks at the side of the road. In patrols conducted by IDF troops in the Jenin court house, eight rifles and three guns were found, and two Palestinians were arrested.
In the West Bank city of Ramallah, troops arrested a Democratic Front activist, Mustafa Badarna, suspected of recruiting terrorists for carrying out shooting attacks in the Ramallah area.
In the al-Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, border policemen arrested an Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades militant who had been involved in placing explosive devices along the security fence. The IDF lifted the closure Thursday morning in the West Bank cities of Nablus, Tul Karm, Qalqilya, and Ramallah. The closure remained in place in Jenin, Bethlehem, Hebron.
Captain Shahar Shmul laid to rest in J'lem military cemeteryCaptain Shahar Shmul was buried Thursday afternoon in Jerusalem's Mount Herzl military cemetery. Shahar, 24, a company commander in the armored corps, was killed Tuesday night in Bethlehem when a Palestinian opened fire on a group of soldiers checking a suspicious vehicle.
Israel Radio said that the gunman killed Shmul with one bullet although he was wearing body armor at the time of the attack.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack.
Shortly after the attack, IDF soldiers declared a curfew, confining Palestinians to their homes. Later, tanks took up positions in the biblical town. This was the first time in over six months that tanks had entered the West Bank city. They withdrew from their positions Wednesday night.
Senior Tanzim activist surrenders to IDFA senior Tanzim activist surrendered to IDF troops in Nablus on Wednesday, and information became public regarding the Shin Bet's arrest in December of a would-be terrorist from the Gaza Strip who planned to take part in three separate terror attacks.
The Tanzim activist, Fatah Kamel al-Hatib, surrendered Wednesday night to IDF troops in a Nablus refugee camp after they surrounded the house in which he was hiding. Troops also fired missiles at the building, which Palestinians reported wounded two people.
The Shin Bet arrested at the end of December a Palestinian from Rafah, in the Gaza Strip, who planned to carry out terrorist attacks inside Israel. The information became public on Wednesday.
The would-be terrorist's assignments included sneaking two suicide bombers into Israel, setting off a bomb on the helicopter launching pad at Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva and attacking a tour bus in Mitzpe Ramon, which is in the south, Israel Radio reported.
The would-be terrorist was arrested as he attempted to infiltrate Israel from Egypt.