5th Day of Ceasefire: Shelling, Counterterror and Jihad Threats

After Gazan terrorists shelled the Negev, Islamic Jihad threatened to break the five-day-old ceasefire over a successful IDF operation in Shechem.

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz ,

IDF soldier with captured Islamic Jihad gun
IDF soldier with captured Islamic Jihad gun
photo: IDF Spokesman's Unit

Islamic Jihad threatened to break the five-day-old Gaza ceasefire, designated as "a period of calm," because of an IDF operation early Tuesday morning that killed two terrorists in different part of the country. On Monday night, Gaza-based Palestinian Authority
Two terrorists were shot dead in the course of an attempt to apprehend them.
terrorists fired a mortar shell at a Jewish community in the western Negev.

In an overnight operation in Shechem involving IDF units and the General Security Services (Shabak), two terrorists were shot dead in the course of an attempt to apprehend them. One of the dead men was a senior operative of Islamic Jihad in Jenin, Tarik Jumea Ahmed Abu Jali. A search of Abu Jali's house turned up a large quantity of weapons and ammunition, including explosive devices, an AK-47 assault rifle and other military equipment.

The Bethlehem-based Maan news agency identified the second terrorist as a prominent leader of Hamas's Al-Quds Brigades. IDF sources said one of the terrorists was planning an attack on Israeli targets.

The incident was the first counterterrorist action in Judea and Samaria involving live fire since the temporary ceasefire agreed upon between Israel and Hamas went into effect last Thursday. The ceasefire officially covers only the Gaza region and not Judea and Samaria.

In other operations, IDF soldiers apprehended eight terrorists during the night between Monday and Tuesday, one in Jenin, five in and around Bethlehem, and two north of Kiryat Arba-Hevron.

Islamic Jihad spokespeople warned that they would end their ceasefire with Israel in the wake of the IDF's Shechem operation. Gaza terrorist groups previously said they were unilaterally extending the Gaza truce to include Judea and Samaria and would consider IDF actions there a violation.

Before the Islamic Jihad threats, an unnamed terrorist cell in PA-controlled Gaza fired a mortar shell at Jewish communities in the western Negev on Monday night, prior to the IDF operation against jihadists in Shechem. The shelling violated the ceasefire, meant to last six months, less than one week after it was undertaken. The shell landed in an open area near a Negev community; there were no injuries or damage.

Despite the ceasefire violation, Israeli officials have begun to open Gaza crossings for more shipments of food and merchandise following a decision by the High Court of Justice on Monday that rejected an appeal to keep the crossings sealed.