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      Elite Unit Honored for Ending Salafist Threat

      Police's Yamam eliminated three terrorists carrying explosive charges and arrested others, saving many lives.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 12/2/2013, 1:04 PM

      Commissioner honors Yamam commander S.
      Commissioner honors Yamam commander S.
      Police Spokesman's Office

      The Israel Police's elite Yamam anti-terrorist unit received a certificate of honor Monday at a meeting of the police's top commanders, for its successful operation against an extremely dangerous terrorist cell that was about to carry out a large-scale terror operation last Tuesday.

      In a complex operation by the Shin Bet and Yamam, three terrorists carrying explosive charges were eliminated, and others were arrested. The terror cell belonged to a Salafist organization affiliated with Al Qaeda.

      One of the terrorists hid inside a structure that served as an explosives laboratory. He exchanged fire with the Yamam force and was killed.

      "In this operation, as in many others, you brought to bear your unit's professionalism, while exhibiting bravery... and determination,” Police Commisioner Lt. Gen. Yohanan Danino said to Yamam commander S. “The nation of Israel owes great gratitude to the unit and its combat fighters, who risk their lives daily. You prevented a heavy disaster in your successful operation.”

      A group called Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen Aknaf Bayt Al-Makdas, or Holy Warriors' Assembly in the Jerusalem Region, which is identified with Al Qaeda, announced Sunday that the three men eliminated by the IDF – Muhammad Nayruh, Mahmoud Al-Najar and Muhammad Pansha, had belonged to the organization and were killed “in an ambush by the Jewish infidels who received information from the agents of the Palestinian Authority.”

      The IDF's Central Command was highly pleased with the operation, which took place at Yata, south of Hevron.

      “Succeeding in preventing a terror attack of this magnitude, before it is executed, and with no one hurt from our forces, is an event that happens once in a decade,” a senior source from the Judea and Samaria Regiment said

      “The elimination of three terrorists and the arrest of six collaborators are a meaningful achievement,” the source said. “There are definitely people out there, we do not know how many and where, whose lives have been saved by this move.

      Security sources said the IDF raid was carried out based upon credible intelligence of an imminent attack by the Islamists against both Israeli and Palestinian Authority targets.

      Prior to Tuesday's incident, "a number of members of the network were recently arrested", and based on their interrogation the Shin Bet established that "the members of the network planned a series of attacks against Israeli targets and the Palestinian Authority."    

      The statement noted that in recent months the members of the network "were establishing a broad military infrastructure, including preparing safe houses, purchasing arms and producing explosives."