Israeli special forces kill 3 terrorists in heart of city under PA control

The terrorists were responsible for at least five shooting attacks in Samaria in recent weeks.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS and World Israel News Staff

Israeli Special Forces on Tuesday hunted down and killed a three-man terror cell in the heart of the city of Shechem (Nablus). The three terrorists were responsible for at least five shooting attacks in the Samaria area in recent weeks.

The Shin Bet security service stated that at the end of a joint intelligence and operational activity with the IDF, a terrorist cell from the Shechem area was eliminated. “The cell is responsible for a series of shooting attacks in the sector against IDF forces and Israeli civilians in recent weeks,” it said.

The three armed terrorists were in a vehicle and were killed during the clashes with the security forces. They were identified as members of the Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades.

There were no Israeli casualties. The Israeli unit seized two M-16 assault rifles the terrorists had in their possession.

The Palestinian Authority’s official WAFA news agency reported that a fourth terrorist was arrested.

The report said that the Special Forces “stormed” the Al-Makhfeya neighborhood situated in the heart of the city which is under full PA control, with a vehicle bearing a PA registration plate.

The most recent attack that the cell carried out before this latest one occurred on Saturday, when terrorists shot at IDF troops operating in the Jenin area in Samaria. There were no Israeli casualties.

Before that, the terrorists fired at an IDF post situated near Shechem on Wednesday night. There were no injuries or damage caused by the shots.

In a third attack, the terrorists fired at an IDF jeep that was driving on a route in Samaria on Saturday night a week and a half ago. There were no injuries. The IDF vehicle was hit by the bullets.

In the fourth, the terrorists fired at an IDF military post in Samaria on Tuesday night two weeks ago. There were no injuries, and no damage was caused. The IDF reported that the attack was a drive-by shooting on a military post near the city of Shechem.

A fifth similar shooting attack ended without injuries.

‘Whoever harms us – will be harmed’

“I would like to commend the Border Police special forces, the IDF and the Israel Security Agency’s activity that thwarted the shooters’ cell in the Shechem area,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz stated after Tuesday’s operation.

“As I said yesterday, I have instructed to increase the activity against the shooters’ cells, and I’m happy there was an active movement towards contact, effective intelligence extraction and determined action by the forces,” Gantz said. “We must make the effort, and we do make it, to not enable the terror to lift its head anywhere, and this effort will of course continue.”

The Defense Minister added that “the IDF operates in all its sections; north, south, center, east, west, near and far, above and beneath the ground, in any dimension you can think of. This is not just a slogan, this is the reality.”

“From time to time we receive reminders to that, just like the one we have seen now in the Shechem area. I would like to express my appreciation to the soldiers who carried out this exceptional work,” Gantz concluded.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett commended the Israeli forces for the successful operation as well: “The Israel National Counter-Terrorism Unit, the ISA and the IDF – our forces have proven today, once again, that there is no immunity for terrorists. Whoever harms us – will be harmed.”