(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

Three armed Palestinians attempted to attack IDF forces located in the southern Gaza Strip near the airport in Dahaniya, early last night (Sunday, 2 July 2006). The forces identified the three gunmen approaching and fired at them, as a result of which the three were killed. Upon closer inspection of the bodies, two of the gunmen were found to be wearing explosive belts.

Later on during the night the IDF carried out an aerial attack on a facility in Beit Hanun used by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror organization to produce and store weapons. The IDF also carried out an aerial attack against an operations center of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the city of Gaza.

As part of IDF operations in the areas of Judea and Samaria, the forces confiscating documents and digital media belonging to the Hamas "Daawa" organizations. In addition, forces sealed several offices belonging to "Daawa" organizations.

Under the guise of a charity association, the "Daawa’" organizations function as system for the flow of terror funds. The "Daawa’" organizations were declared illegal following the financial support they provided for families of suicide bombers and imprisoned terrorists. This financial and social support provides an incentive for terrorists to carry out attacks and stems an increase of public support of these terror organizations.

The "Dawa" associations’ infrastructure serves as a medium for the transfer of money to terror causes under the pretext of charity, and so allows for an easy and convenient mechanism to transfer money to terror organizations. The "Daawa" associations were outlawed due to their support of the families of suicide bombers and arrested terror activists. Through this support the associations raise the public support of terror activities.

Throughout the night IDF forces operated, and continue to operate in the northern Gaza Strip to locate tunnels and explosives. The IDF has no intention of harming the Palestinian population, but the IDF will continue to carry out operations to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the citizens of Israel. IDF forces are conducting a pinpoint operation in the area near the fence in the northern Gaza Strip in order to reveal explosives and tunnels dug into the ground by terror organizations used for attacks against Israel.