The two Islamic Jihad terrorists were held in a Palestinian Authority (PA) prison in Tulkarm, located 20 miles northeast of Tel Aviv. The two Arabs helped carry out the suicide bombing at the Tel Aviv Stage nightclub on February 25, 2005, which claimed the lives of five Israelis. Israel recently turned over to the PA responsibility for security in Tulkarm.

Israeli security officials have often blamed the PA for facilitating terrorism by what they call the "revolving-door policy," by which Arab terrorists are arrested by the enemy as a public relations stunt, only to be later let go under the claim that they escaped.

Despite statements by PA chairman Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) that he is disarming terrorists, attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers have increased more than 300 per cent in the last two weeks. Terrorists shot at soldiers this morning near Shechem in Samaria as the IDF searched for two wanted terrorists. Army troops also arrested Islamic Jihad terrorists east of Shechem and north of Be'er Sheva.

One hundred terrorist attacks were reported between April 5 and 14, compared to only 23 during the previous week, according to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies. The PA "has not reacted effectively against the terrorist organizations' activity," according to the Center. A graph depicting the sharp rise in attacks can viewed on the Terrorism Center's Bi-weekly Summary.

PA officials Friday morning continued to state they are disarming terrorists. PA Security Minister Mohamed Dahlan promised Israel Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz the PA will control terror in Tulkarm, reiterating similar comments made earlier this week by Abu Mazen.

Mofaz said he and Dahlan agreed to coordinate the planned withdrawal of Israeli civilians and soldiers from Gaza in order to prevent an evacuation under enemy fire.

In accordance with a decision by the political echelon and in light of the security assessment, a general closure will be imposed on Arab-populated areas of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, effective tonight and for the duration of the Passover holiday.

Throughout the duration of the closure, humanitarian cases will be handled by the District Coordination and Liaison offices.