The Israel Defense Forces early Friday destroyed weapons plants in Rafah, on the Egyptian border, being used to make mortars and Kassam missiles. One Palestinian was killed, and six were injured, Palestinian sources reported.
IDF soldiers from the Givati brigade, a Golani commando unit and tanks and engineering forces destroyed eight weapons-producing lathes located in a number of homes. Soldiers searched about 20 houses. IDF troops destroyed two office structures used by the Fatah movement, and seized documents, which army sources said later, contain important intelligence about terror activity.
Gunfire clashes, and hand-grenade and bomb explosions, were reported in Rafah. Four Palestinians from the city were arrested on suspicion of involvement in terror attacks. Eight soldiers were injured but not seriously in a collision at the start of the operation, which involved a tank and an armored personnel carrier.
Palestinian Authority figures denounced the IDF operation. Top PA negotiator Saeb Erekat claimed that "dozens" of Palestinians in Rafah were injured.
Golani brigade troops on Friday detained 16 Palestinians in Tubas, northeast of Nablus. Two of the suspects were described as top Hamas operatives.
Due to intelligence warnings of attacks planned during the Jewish holiday season, a general closure will be imposed on the West Bank and Gaza Strip throughout Yom Kippur. Starting this morning, Palestinians will be allowed into Israel only in special, humanitarian cases. This closure will be lifted early Tuesday.