Under attack, IDF eliminates three terrorists in Nablus

“The three terrorists who were killed this morning by the IDF in the Nablus region are operatives of the military wing of Hamas,” the Gaza-based terrorist group said later in the day in an official announcement.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

IDF troops killed three Palestinian terrorists after coming under fire in the Nablus (Shechem) area early Tuesday morning, the army announced a few hours later.

Several members of the 603rd Battalion of Combat Engineers identified a suspicious vehicle some 100 meters down a street from their post near a gate to a community of Samaritans. A terrorist emerged and started shooting at them with an M16 rifle. In a video clip posted online, two soldiers can be seen approaching the vehicle on foot while shooting back.

After neutralizing the attackers, the soldiers found three M16s, a pistol and bullet cartridges in the car, as well as military vests. No soldiers were hurt in the incident.

Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan congratulated the soldiers for their “determined response” to the attempted attack, which he said “saved human lives.”

The Samaritans are a group claiming descent from the ancient Israelites but who have their own distinct religion. They are Israeli citizens and serve in the IDF, and mostly live close to Nablus, as the nearby Mount Gerizim is their holiest site.

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“This event could have ended completely differently,” Dagan said. “We will not accept the loss of the lives of Israeli citizens – neither in Samaria nor anywhere else in the State of Israel. The public expects the government to bring security and the responsibility is theirs.”

The attack came on the heels of a terror shooting in the Palestinian-controlled town of Huwara Monday evening, which is several kilometers south of Nablus and an IDF-acknowledged similar hotbed of terrorism where several Israelis have been killed and wounded in recent months.

A bus passing through the town was hit by at least eight bullets, miraculously injuring no one. The IDF has been combing the area to find the perpetrators.

The IDF, together with Border Police and Shabak intelligence personnel, also arrested eight terror suspects in overnight operations. Four were taken into custody in Hebron and nearby villages, with the troops confiscating M16 rifles and their cartridges. Another four were arrested in the villages of Hizme and Bet Sira. A riot broke out in Bet Sira during the raid, and the forces responded with non-lethal dispersal methods.