IDF Soldiers Catch Would-be Suicide Bomber at Erez Crossing

IDF: Explosives device 'sewn to resemble pair of underpants'; witnesses: 14-year-old youth shot dead by troops operating in Rafah camp.

Israel Defense Forces soldiers foiled a suicide attack Tuesday, when they prevented a Palestinian man carrying an explosive device in his trousers from passing through the Erez Crossing from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

The man initially aroused the suspicion of the troops at first stage of checks to pass through the crossing.

When the soldiers became aware that the man was holding false identification, they held him at gunpoint while they evacuated the entire terminal.

"Around 5 A.M. (0200 GMT), a suicide bomber arrived at the inspection sleeve at Erez Crossing. A soldier spotted him, he was isolated and his explosives belt was taken off him," a military spokeswoman said in Jerusalem.

The belt was different than any the IDF has dealt with before in that "it was sewn to resemble a pair of underpants," the spokeswoman said.

In January, a female Palestinian suicide bomber killed four Israelis when she blew herself up at the crossing.

Also Tuesday, IDF troops operating in the West Bank arrested 88 Palestinians, Israel Radio reported.

Among those detained were 24 people arrested in Hebron, seven detained in Bethlehem and seven who were arrested in Abu Dis, the radio said.

Witnesses: Troops kills 14-year-old in Rafah raidIDF troops killed a 14-year-old Palestinian during an incursion early Tuesday in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip, witnesses said.

IDF sources said forces entered the camp to demolish an abandoned structure used as cover by Palestinian gunmen who have been firing machineguns and mortar bombs at soldiers.

"A Palestinian was spotted moving within 50 meters of a bulldozer and shots were fired at him," one of the sources said.

IDF kills Palestinian in attempted terror attack near MoragIsrael Defense Forces troops shot and killed a Palestinian man who tried to carry out a terror attack at the south Gaza Strip settlement of Morag Monday night, the IDF said.

Palestinian sources confirmed that a 34-year-old man had been killed in the area.

The IDF said troops ambushed the Palestinian near abandoned greenhouses in the Morag area, after receiving intelligence information that an explosive device had earlier been hidden in the greenhouses.

Troops shot and killed the Palestinian when he crawled to the greenhouses, apparently to detonate the bomb, the army said.

A nine-year-old Palestinian girl was moderately injured Monday in a failed Israeli effort to assassinate a senior member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in Jenin, the third time in the last three weeks that the air force has muffed an assassination.

In Gaza, an Israeli civilian doing construction for the Israel Defense Forces was lightly wounded by Palestinian gunfire, and in the West Bank village of Budrus, a Palestinian was wounded by a rubber bullet during a demonstration against the separation fence.

The wanted man, Mohammed Khalifa, was driving Monday afternoon when an air force helicopter fired a missile at his car. But the missile missed its target by about 30 meters, hitting a house instead. The girl was wounded by shrapnel.

Though Khalifa is only second-in-command of the Al-Aqsa Brigades' Jenin branch, the security services consider him more dangerous than his commander, Zacharia Zubeidi. Khalifa personally prepares bombs and dispatches suicide bombers, while Zubeidi is mainly the organization's public face.

Khalifa is believed to behind the suicide bombing at the Qalandiyeh checkpoint outside Jerusalem earlier this month, which killed two Palestinians and wounded six border policemen. That bomb was intended for Haifa, but was set off prematurely. Khalifa was also responsible for a bombing at Tel Aviv's Central Bus Station in July that killed one Israeli.

In the past 18 months, Israel has attempted only four assassinations in the West Bank, since its control of this territory is usually sufficient to allow it to arrest the wanted men instead. However, the Jenin refugee camp is considered a particularly difficult place to make arrests, and Israel was also worried by the Jenin cell's recent attempts to carry out bombings inside Israel. These considerations prompted Monday's attempt.