One Hamas terrorist was killed in the wee hours of Monday morning in clashes with IDF soldiers who were conducting a counter-terrorism operation that began Sunday night and continued in an area one kilometer southwest of the Sufa Crossing.
IDF First Sergeant-Major Ehud Efrati was killed in the action and two other soldiers were evacuated to hospital with light wounds. The family of the 34-year-old Beit Yehoshua reservist has been notified. "Despite the hit, the force accomplished its mission under difficult operational circumstances and identified hitting the gunman's cell," said an army spokesperson. "One of the militants was killed consequently."
Monday morning, the IDF conducted counter-terror operations in northern Gaza which ended before noon. One IDF soldier was seriously wounded in the clashes. Terrorist cells in Gaza have become better trained and equipped, said a separate source, increasing the necessity for Israeli troops to maintain a presence in the region.
In the Monday fighting, Israeli forces clashed with an armed terrorist cell that fired rocket-propelled grenades at the soldiers in the area around the Agricultural College in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, a favorite Kassam rocket launching spot.
The IDF reconnaissance unit captured three wanted terrorists Monday morning during operations in Shechem, the "terrorist capital" of Judea and Samaria. In Shechem, located 35 miles northeast of Tel Aviv, a Givati Brigade soldier was moderately wounded while battling terrorists in the city's Ein Bet Ilmeh neighborhood. The soldier was taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikva with shrapnel wounds in the neck.
IDF soldiers also arrested 20 other Palestinian Authority fugitives around Judea and Samaria. All were transferred to security personnel for interrogation.