IDF soldier moderately wounded as Nablus raid enters fourth day
Border Police kill 3 Jihad militants during Jenin raid; Border Policeman lightly wounded; 5 Qassams hit Negev.
An Israel Defense Forces soldier was moderately wounded in Nablus on Wednesday, the fourth day of a large-scale IDF arrest operation in the West Bank city.
Israel Radio reported that the soldier was airlifted to Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer. According to the army, the soldier was wounded when Palestinian militants detonated an explosive device during IDF "operations against terrorist infrastructure."
A local hospital said an 18-year-old Palestinian was critically wounded by IDF gunfire while throwing stones at soldiers.
Operation "Hot Winter" is focusing primarily on carrying out arrests and uncovering weapons stocks in Nablus casbah (old city).
On Wednesday, IDF troops reimposed a curfew on thousands of people in the city, a day after residents said the army had ended the raid.
Soldiers also resumed house-to-house searches for wanted men and detained at least 50 people for questioning, residents said.
To date, several wanted men have been arrested, and troops have discovered three weapons factories and an arms cache. Military sources said Tuesday that the operation would continue in accordance with intelligence information.
In Gaza, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said the intensified military activity was an expression of Israel's rejection of a unity deal his Hamas movement agreed with rivals Fatah in Mecca, Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
"This escalation aims to abort the Palestinian and Arab steps which aim to break the siege imposed on our people," he said, referring to a Western aid embargo imposed on the Palestinian Authority after Hamas came to power in March.
Militants killed in JeninAlso Wednesday, three Palestinian militants were killed and an elite undercover Border Policeman lightly wounded Wednesday during an IDF raid in the West Bank town of Jenin.
Meanwhile, five Qassam rockets hit the western Negev on Wednesday morning, one of the rockets damaging a fence in an area town.
Three rockets hit open areas, while the fifth struck near the Gaza Strip security fence. There were no injuries in any of the strikes.
According to the IDF and Border Police, all three men killed in Jenin were Islamic Jihad members - Ashraf Sa'adi and Mohammed Abu Nas'ah, seniors member of the group, and their assistant, and Ala Jabali.
Palestinian sources confirmed the three were members of the militant group. They said that two civilians, including a 12-year-old girl, were also wounded in the operation.
Sa'adi, 28, was responsible for shooting attacks and bombings in the Jenin area, as well as attempts to dispatch suicide bombers to Israel. Abu Nas'ah, 34, assisted in carrying out attacks and handled finances, and according to the Shin Bet, Jabali too assisted in carrying out attacks.
Security sources said the militants were involved in dispatching the would-be suicide bomber to Tel Aviv last week. The attack was averted when the bomber was arrested in Bat Yam.
"Last week this very infrastructure dispatched Ummar Abu Roub to carry out a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, an attack which was thwarted by security forces," said the sources.
"The infrastructure continues to operate via different channels to carry out attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces."
Last week, the same undercover Border Police unit killed the senior Islamic Jihad bomb maker who was responsible for dispatching the bomber.
A spokesman for Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, Abu Ahmad, vowed a swift response.
"This new crime will not pass without tough punishment," Abu Ahmad said in a text message sent to reporters. "Their blood will be the fuel of our holy battle. And our reaction is coming soon."
The three were sitting in a car when a black car drove up alongside them, witnesses said. According to the IDF and Border Police, Sa'adi noticed the undercover troops, and opened fire in their direction, wounding the Border Policeman in the shoulder.
The Border Police troops returned fire, killing the three passengers. The injured Border Policeman was taken for medical treatment.
At midmorning Wednesday, several thousand people, including gunmen firing into the air, joined a funeral procession in Jenin for the three dead militants.
Meanwhile Wednesday, security forces arrested Hamas lawmaker Hathem Qafishe in the West Bank city of Hebron.
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