In two separate incidents near Jenin during the course of the night, armed Arabs opened fire at Israeli soldiers, who in turn shot and killed them. Two terrorists were killed in the first incident, and a third - Samar Saadi, a leading member of the Al Aksa Brigades terrorist organization - was killed shortly afterwards. Saadi's death prompted Al-Aksa head Zakaria Zubeidi to warn of continued terrorism in response.
Terrorists opened fire at Israelis near Shechem and on the way to the community of Har Brachah last night; no one was hurt.
Israeli forces arrested seven wanted terrorists in Shechem, Ramallah and Bethlehem last night, all members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Hundreds of other Arabs have been arrested or taken in for questioning over the past few days regarding their involvement in terror activities.
In Gaza, violence continues to be the order of the day. The current round began with a powerful blast during a Hamas victory parade last Friday that killed some 20 celebrants. Hamas blamed it on Israel and then proceeded to let loose a barrage of 40 Kassam rockets at Sderot and environs, wounding six people. The Israel Air Force responded with a series of bombing raids on various buildings and open areas in Gaza, causing no casualties. Hamas announced that it would stop the rocket attacks, but in fact merely toned them down. Several Kassams were fired this week, and Israel continued to respond with scattered bombing raids, including last night, and even artillery.
A Palestinian Authority report released last night finds that the celebration-explosion that started off the above events was caused by a Hamas rocket, and not Israel. The shrapnel found in the bodies of the dead was found to resemble that of Kassam rockets, which were apparently carried and displayed in a truck on which masked terrorists were showing off their wares. The PA has said it will now forbid weaponry from being displayed or carried during demonstrations, except for that carried by PA security forces.
Arab terrorists also clashed with PA policemen in Gaza last night. The incident began when an IDF force noticed three terrorists crawling near the Karni Crossing, east of what used to be the Israeli community of Netzarim. The Israelis alerted the PA, whose forces soon arrived and were promptly hit with gunfire and a grenade, injuring two of them. The terrorists escaped.
Other forms of PA chaos in Gaza were manifest around the same time last night when Arabs attempted to kill Musa Arafat's former aide. They seriously wounded him and took his weapon. Just three weeks ago, Arafat himself was killed in a similar manner.
IDF Chief Operations Officer Gen. Yisrael Ziv said that if the rocket attacks from Beit Hanoun in Gaza do not cease, "we will demilitarize the entire area. We won't allow any movement, and we will clean out all the rocket launchers."