Shechem Operation Catches Suicide-Bomb Cell and Fatah Terrorists

A counter-terror operation in Shechem has succeeded in apprehending a terrorist cell planning a suicide bombing as well as two Fatah terrorists.

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Ezra HaLevi ,

file photo
file photo

A three-day IDF counter-terror operation in Shechem has succeeded in apprehending a terrorist cell planning a suicide bombing as well as two Fatah terrorists who were apparantly on the list of those granted amnesty by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

The suicide-bomb cell’s four members included affiliates of both Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The suicide-bomber himself was caught as well. In all, 31 wanted terrorists were arrested and at least two killed and several wounded.

The operation focused on the Ein Beit Ilma neighborhood in the heart of the city. Residents were put under curfew as security forces conducted house-to-house operations and combat with local terrorists. Terrorist sniper-fire was alternated with groups of local Arabs rioting, which the IDF responded to with crowd-dispersal methods.

On Tuesday, IDF Paratrooper St.-Sgt. Ben-Zion Haneman was killed by a 17-year-old terrorist in the alleys of Ein Beit Ilma. His comrades returned fire and killed the terrorist. Hanamen was buried that evening near his home in the Golan Heights.

Speaking at a press conference with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Fatah Chief and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called upon Israel to withdraw the IDF from Shechem, referring to the counter-terror operations as a “policy of invasion.”

Fatah Terrorists Were Part of Amnesty Agreement
Two senior Fatah terrorists belonging to the group’s Al Aksa Brigades were arrested during the counter-terror operations. Reports from Hamas-affiliated news sites say the men took part in kidnapping Hamas members in Shechem following the takeover of Gaza by the Islamist group.

The men were said to have been part of the amnesty agreement agreed to by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, whereby Al-Aksa Brigades terrorists laid down their arms and the IDF stopped pursuing them. Presumably, the men violated the terms of the arrangement.

Kassam Rockets Continue
Two Kassam rockets were fired at the Israeli town of Sderot in the western Negev Thursday. The rockets landed in an open area outside town, failing to cause damage or injury.



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