4 April 2002

IDF operations overnight (3-4 April) in Judea and Samaria
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

This past evening, IDF forces continued to carry out "Operation Defensive Shield" in the Palestinian controlled cities of Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqilya, Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem and a number of Palestinian controlled villages.

This evening, IDF regular and reserve forces entered Nablus. In the course of their operations, a large number of explosive devices were detonated against Israeli soldiers. A series of fire fights also occurred between Israeli soldiers and terrorist elements in the city. In the course of these operations, an IDF soldier was moderately wounded and was evacuated to hospital for further medical treatment.

Over the last 18 months of the current period of ongoing Palestinian violence against Israel, Nablus has served as a central point of departure for numerous Palestinian terror attacks throughout Israel. IDF forces are operating in the city on order to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, while taking all precautions not to harm the civilian population. In the course of the IDF operations, IDF soldiers permitted the passage of Palestinian ambulances to evacuate the wounded throughout the city. A number of Palestinian suspects were also arrested a detained for questioning.

The IDF Spokesperson has made clear that despite Palestinian claims made earlier yesterday evening, IDF soldiers have not fired in any way at the "Casba."

An explosion was heard in one of the houses in Nablus’ "Casba." This was apparently the detonation of an explosive device being prepared by Palestinian elements, an explosion that killed a Palestinian woman and wounded a number of others. The blaming of Israel for this explosion is yet another example of the web of lies and disinformation sown by Palestinian elements.

In the framework of IDF operations in Tulkarem and the villages in the immediate vicinity, an IDF soldier was lightly wounded by shots fired at Israeli forces operating in the city. The soldier was evacuated by helicopter to hospital for medical treatment.

As of yesterday evening, recent IDF operations in Judea and Samaria have led to the arrest of some 1,100 Palestinians, including many wanted suspects. Also captured were some 50 RPGs, two launchers, 11 machine guns, 7 explosive devices, tens of crates of ammunition and many kilograms of explosives, over 1,000 rifles of various types and 173 pistols.

IDF Operation in the Town of Salfit

IDF forces, operating in the town of Salfit uncovered a factory used for the manufacture of explosive charges. Dozens of large explosives, ready for use, were discovered inside the factory, along with kegs of gunpowder and Kalashnikov assault rifles.

The IDF Spokesperson notes that each of the explosive charges found in the factory could have caused a great loss in human life. IDF forces operating inside Salfit are foiling the intentions of Palestinian terrorist organization to strike against Israeli civilians and security forces. So far, dozens of wanted Palestinian suspects have been apprehended in the course of the IDF operation, and were taken for questioning by the security forces.