As part of the ongoing war against terror and its infrastructure, and in response to the murderous terrorist infilitration that killed three IDF soldiers and wounded two others (October 24, 2003), IDF forces operated overnight in the A-Zahara neighborhood, south of the Israeli community of Netzarim.
During the operation, IDF engineering forces demolished three uninhabited buildings utilized by terrorists to plan hostile activity. Indeed, over the past few weeks, the building was used as a vantage point to observe the Israeli community of Netzarim. Information accrued in this manner aided the terrorists in planning and carrying out the above-mentioned infiltration.
In addition, IDF forces demolished a Palestinian police station used as a refuge by an Islamic Jihad terrorist involved in the Netzarim infiltration. It should be noted that the terrorist was offered sanctuary by Palestinian police officers – who also helped him escape. Such action illustrates the blatant involvement of the Palestinian security apparatuses in aiding terrorism.
In an effort to reduce harm to the Palestinian population, IDF forces, in conjunction with DCO officials, temporarily evacuated the residents in close proximity to the location of the IDF operation.
The Palestinian residents of the area were informed that the above-mentioned activity was not meant to harm them, but rather, was directed at buildings used by terrorist organizations to plan and carry out hostile activity.
Upon conclusion of the operation (before morning), Palestinian residents of the neighborhood returned to their houses.
The IDF will continue to use all legal means at its disposal to strike at the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure, their leaders as well as operatives, in order to protect the lives of IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians.