IDF assassinates two militants planning suicide attack in Israel
- IDF assassinates two militants planning suicide attack in Israel
By Amos Harel, Baruch Kra, Ha'aretz Correspondents and Ha'aretz Service.
An IDF helicopter gunship fired missiles Thursday at the vehicle of wanted Palestinian militants
near the West Bank city of Tul Karm. Palestinian sources said that two men were killed and a third
seriously wounded in the attack.
According to the report IDF troops closed in on the vehicle and kidnapped the injured man, believed
to be the driver of the cell, following the missile attack.
Security sources said that the two men who were killed were members of a Hamas cell that had been
planning to carry out a suicide bombing in the Sharon region. Intelligence warnings of a possible
bomber had placed police in the area on high alert.
Tul Karm Governor Izzedine al-Sharif said that five Apache helicopters were seen hovering in the air
southeast of the city before they shot missiles at a taxi carrying Palestinians.
Sharif added that IDF soldiers who were dropped into the Palestinian-controlled area by helicopters
chased wounded passengers who fled the scene.
Earlier Thursday, undercover Border Police and regular troops from the IDF kidnapped a top Hamas
activist in the Nablus region, Omar Jabarin. Jabarin was captured in the village of Beit Iba, just
west of the West Bank city.
On Wednesday, the IDF killed six Palestinian militants in the West Bank, including a senior member
of the militant Islamic group Hamas in Hebron.
Despite the killing of the two militants, police reinforcements were on "unprecedented alert" for a
third day in a hunt for a potential suicide bomber believed at large in one of the Israeli Arab
towns near Kfar Sava.
The alert status in the Sharon area, near the 1967 Green Line Border went into effect Tuesday.
Police forces placed roadblocks at the entrances to several towns in the area and closed down the ma
rket in Baka al Garbiyeh. They also beefed up forces near Nahal Iron, Zichron Ya'akov, Binyamina and
The Sharon area, not far from Jenin, has been a frequent target of Palestinian militants, many of
them based in the northern West Bank city.
Severe traffic congestion was reported in the Sharon region due to the roadblocks.
On Wednesday traffic was stopped in entrances to the towns of Tira and Taibeh in the wake of "very
'hot' warnings" based on intelligence information.