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Jihad vows to avenge IDF capture of Jenin chief

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    Last Update: 01/10/2003 10:45 Jihad vows to avenge IDF capture of Jenin chief http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/345971.html By Amos Harel, Haaretz
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2003
      Last Update: 01/10/2003 10:45

      Jihad vows to avenge IDF capture of Jenin chief

      By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent, and Haaretz Service

      The Islamic Jihad Wednesday vowed to avenge the
      IDF's overnight capture of Sheikh Bassam Saadi,
      who served as the militant movement's chief in the
      northern West Bank city of Jenin.

      The movement's leader in Gaza,
      Abdallah al-Shami, said revenge
      would be exacted for Sa'adi's
      capture. "The enemy will pay a
      dear price for beating Sheikh
      Bassam Saadi and for its daily
      crimes on our people," al-Shami
      said. Wintnesses said Saadi was
      beaten after he was seized.

      Witnesses said Saadi, 42, was a senior leader of
      Islamic Jihad in the West Bank and that he had
      been wanted by Israel for two years. Two of his
      sons had recently been killed in clashes with
      the Israeli military, Palestinian sources

      Saadi, arrested by a force of the Golani
      infantry brigade's elite Egoz unit, is
      suspected of having dispatched the suicide
      terrorist who killed Mazal Afari in Moshav Kfar
      Yabetz in July.

      Saadi led opposition within the Jihad to the
      temporary truce called by militant
      organizations on June 29 and which later
      collapsed, Israel Radio said.

      In the Jenin raid, soldiers backed by
      helicopters and tanks raided a section of the
      refugee camp before dawn and told residents to
      evacuate the area as they carried out
      house-to-house searches for suspected
      militants, the witnesses said.

      They said Saadi was found by tracker dogs
      beneath a car parked outside a mosque. Three
      other Palestinians were also arrested in Jenin,
      the witnesses said. Islamic Jihad sources in
      Gaza said Sa'adi was beaten after he was

      Islamic Jihad has carried out dozens of attacks,
      including suicide bombings, that have killed
      hundreds of Israelis during the three-year-old
      Palestinian uprising.

      Al-Shami said Sa'adi had eluded Israeli arrest
      for two years, and that his capture "will not
      weaken the resistance, on the contrary, it will
      fuel it more and more as the uprising goes into
      its fourth year."

      In other Israeli military raids, troops seized
      14 suspected
      militants near the West Bank cities of Nablus,
      Ramallah and
      Hebron, the army said.

      Witnesses said soldiers blew up 12 homes and a
      tunnel used to smuggle weapons from Egypt into
      the Gaza Strip. Palestinian medical officials
      said three people were wounded in the action.

      A Golani arrest campaign in the camp, which
      began more than two weeks ago, has netted more
      than 20 wanted fugitives and headed off a car
      bombing planned for the northern Israel town of
      Bet Shean, security sources say.

      The head of the Jihad organization in the Jenin
      refugee camp, Fares Wahadeh, was arrested on

      Following an intense Israeli campaign of arrests
      and assassination attempts directed against
      Islamic militant commanders, most Islamic Jihad
      and Hamas officials have gone underground,
      careful to refrain from disclosing their
      whereabouts to the press for fear of discovery
      by Israeli forces.

      Saadi was one of the few Islamic militant
      leaders who maintained contact with the media,
      often serving as a spokesman for the movement.
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