The man, who owns a cement factory, was approached in the morning hours by six Arab men, four of them armed. The man acted quickly and opened fire with his personal pistol in their direction. One of the kidnappers was hit, the Jewish man later said, and the rest fled in the direction of PA-controlled villages in the region.

IDF forces are sweeping the area, located just across the pre-1967 Green Line border, searching for the armed men. Police found several items dropped by the fleeing men along their escape route. A hole was found in the fence around the factory, along with a fake pistol, a trail of blood and plastic handcuffs.

Border Crossing Opened

The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt was opened Tuesday night, as part of a move to ease restrictions on Gaza’s Arabs in anticipation of the Middle East visit by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz ordered the border crossing reopened "in honor of Ramadan," the Islamic month of daily fasts.

Officer Shoots Illegal Worker in Jaffa

A border police officer accidentally shot an Arab worker who was in Israel illegally. The officer initially said the man tried to snatch his gun, but later admitted that he cocked the weapon, causing it to accidentally discharge, killing the Hevron resident.

An investigation into the incident is underway, and the officer was placed under house arrest due to contradictions in his testimony.


Earl Tuesday evening, the IDF carried out an aerial attack in the northern Gaza Strip, targeting a vehicle carrying an Islamic Jihad terror cell responsible for rocket attacks against Sderot and environs. The attack led to several secondary explosions in the vehicle, apparently due to weaponry inside, indicating that the cell may have been on its way to launch rockets into Israel.

IDF soldiers arrested nine wanted terrorists from various groups overnight in Judea and Samaria.

The routine anti-terror sweep netted two Hamas members in Beit Lakiya and Halhoul, near Hevron, and two Fatah operatives in the Balata area of Shechem. Three fugitives were caught in Abu Dis and Azaria, near Jerusalem, and a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) group was apprehended in Kalkilye.


In Gaza, IDF troops captured leading Islamic Jihad terrorist Salah Bahlul and six of his comrades.

Israel Air Force fighter pilots struck a weapons storehouse early Wednesday morning west of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

Residents in the area were warned ahead of the strike, which targeted abandoned homes used as weapons storage facilities, according to IDF sources.

No one was reported injured in the missile strike.

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