IDF forces
IDF forcesIsrael news photo: Flash 90

A raid in northern Samaria on Tuesday morning that netted a cache of weapons also resulted in the capture of a senior Islamic Jihad terrorist.

Israeli forces raided the home of Sheikh Osama Al-Shalabi in Silat al-Dhahar village south of Jenin, before detaining the Islamic Jihad leader, locals told the Palestinian Authority affiliated Ma'an News Agency.

A second terrorist from the oganization was also arrested in south Jenin. Neither has been identified.

Israeli forces detained another senior Islamic Jihad member, Sheikh Khader Adnan, from Jenin-district Arraba village on December 17. He has since gone on hunger strike to protest his incarceration by Israeli prison authorities.

Islamic Jihad, which is closely allied with the Hamas terror organization that rules Gaza, has openly expressed reservations about Hamas' decision to join the PLO and downshift to 'popular resistance' in Judea and Samaria.

The group has come under increasing pressure from the IDF in recent weeks, with several terrorists being killed and wounded in IAF airstrikes in northern and central Gaza.

Islamic Jihad has been at the forefront of rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza on Israel's southern communities in the past eighteen months - as well as being involved in the cross-border bus ambush near Eilat that resulted in eight Israelis being killed.

A series of targeted killings by the IDF in 2003 and 2004 that culminated in the death of Islamic Jihad leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in Gaza brought Islamic Jihad's command element in Israel to the brink of destruction.

Following the Hamas takeover of Gaza in a bloody 2007 putsch, however, the group was able to rebuild its command echelon due to Israel's airstrike-for-rockets strategic paradigm, which favors striking logistical sites rather than targeted killings.

A growing number of senior security figures in Israel have said a major incursion aimed at rooting out Gaza's terror infrastructure is the only way to restore security to some 1 million Israelis who live under the daily threat of rocket-fire from terrorists in the coastal enclave.