Daily Israel Report

Rocket Attack as IDF Strikes at Fatah Terrorists

While most Israelis were celebrating Passover, IDF forces struck at terror leaders in Shechem & Jericho. Negev residents came under rocket attack.
By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
First Publish: 4/3/2007, 10:53 PM

The Passover holiday brought no freedom from Palestinian Authority rocket attacks on the residents of the western Negev, near the PA-controlled Gaza Strip. IDF forces also had no time to rest as they carried out counter-terrorism operations in the city of Shechem, striking at wanted targets from the Fatah terrorist organization.

 

On Tuesday morning, Arab terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired a explosives-carrying rocket towards Jewish targets in pre-1967 Israeli territory. The rocket slammed into an open area north of the Gaza region. There were no injuries or damage reported in the attack.

 

Adjacent to the northern Samaria city of Shechem, IDF forces shot and injured a leader of the Al-Aksa Martyrs
After Sanakra did not reply to calls by the soldiers to surrender, the counter-terrorist unit forced its way into the building.
Brigades, operated by the Fatah terrorist organization. Fatah is headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen).

 

At approximately 2:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, a large number of IDF forces entered the Balata refugee camp and surrounded the home of Ahmed Sanakra, 23, the commander of Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades terror cells in Shechem. After Sanakra did not reply to calls by the soldiers to surrender, the counter-terrorist unit forced its way into the building. At that moment, the IDF forces came under enemy fire.

 

In the ensuing gun battle, the terrorist leader was quite seriously injured, but he managed to escape IDF capture. No soldiers were hurt during the operation.

 

PA sources report that Sanakra was hit in the stomach by four bullets, and another struck his left hand. A spokesman from the Al-Aksa terrorists threatened, by way of the PA-based news agency Ma’an, that the organization’s retaliation for what they called “the attempted assassination” will be harsh.

 

IDF soldiers confiscated Sanakra’s M16 assault rifle in the wake of the counter-terrorist operation.

 

Sanakra has been wanted by Israeli security forces since at least 2004 for planning and carrying out terrorist attacks on both sides of the 1967 Green Line. He has been injured several times in IDF operations aimed at killing or capturing him over the years, including two such operations in 2006. Sanakra sustained serious injuries from four bullets to the torso in November of that year, when IDF soldiers shot him as he planted bombs in the Shechem region.

 

In Jericho, on Wednesday morning, a joint IDF-Shabak-police operation succeeded in capturing a top Tanzim terrorist in Jericho.  The captured man, Jihad Latif Abu-Haniye, headed the Tanzim network in Jericho and was involved in planning and perpetrating attacks in Israel.

 

On Tuesday night, IDF soldiers came under attack in the Beit Ilma section of Shechem. In two separate incidents, units carrying out counter-terrorist operations in the city were shot at by PA gunmen.  Targeting IDF forces, Arab attackers also detonated an explosive device and threw a firebomb. There were no injuries to Israeli troops in the Shechem-area attacks.

 

In the city of Jenin, also located in northern Samaria, PA militia gunmen detonated an explosive device and opened fire at IDF forces during the night on Monday. No soldiers were injured in the attacks.