One of the terrorists, Nidal Abu Sa’ada, was the Islamic Jihad’s chief commander for Judea and Samaria.

Sa’ada was suspected of being involved in a suicide bombing outside a Netanya shopping mall last December. Five people were killed in that attack; dozens more were wounded, some seriously.

A border patrolman was seriously wounded in the incident. The patrolman, who sustained severe head wounds, was evacuated to Rambam hospital in Haifa by helicopter. His condition is reported as stable, but serious.

Troops surrounded a house in Arrabeh where the terrorists were hiding. After fleeing the house, the terrorists opened fire on Israeli forces, wounding the border patrolman. Troops returned fire, killing two of the terrorists. A third terrorist was captured by IDF troops.

Islamic Jihad terrorists have continued to carry out suicide attacks against Israel, despite the existence of an informal ceasefire, or hudna, among the various terror groups. The most recent suicide bombing sponsored by the group took place on January 19, in Tel Aviv.

Islamic Jihad leaders urged a boycott of last week’s elections in the Palestinian Authority, claiming the election was engineered by the United States.

In other military activity on Tuesday, IDF troops arrested two terrorist fugitives belonging to the Tanzim terror group in the Al-Aida camp near Bethlehem. The Tanzim is associated with the Fatah, the party of PA chief Mahmoud Abbas.

Twenty-two other terrorist fugitives were arrested Tuesday night. A number of Hamas terrorists were among those arrested. Two were captured in the Ramallah area, north of Jerusalem, two near Bethlehem, and two others, near Kalkiliya, on Israel’s coastal plain.

Terrorists belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine were arrested near Shechem, Ramallah, and Jenin. Islamic Jihad terrorists were arrested near Kalkiliya and Shechem. A Fatah terrorist was captured near Shechem.

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