IDF continues to thwart terror attacks in Judea and Samaria

Illustrative photo: IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson’s Unit

In the past 2 weeks the Kfir Brigade has seized illegal weapons and foiled an attempt to attack IDF (Zahal) forces with a pipe bomb 

Date: 30/06/2013, 5:15 PM     Author: Yael Livnat

The IDF (Zahal)’s Kfir Brigade continues to record operational successes, thwarting terror attacks in Judea and Samaria. Over the past two weeks, soldiers of its Netzah Yehuda Battalion discovered an illegal hunting rifle and dozens of bullets in a Palestinian vehicle in the area of Jenin, and a force of Kfir’s Haruv Battalion arrested an adolescent armed with a pipe bomb in the Etzion sector of Samaria.

“On Wednesday of last week [June 19], a force of the auxiliary company accompanied the forward command group, so as to disrupt and prevent terror activity in the sector,” the commander of the Netzah Yehuda Battalion’s auxiliary company, Cpt. Shai Baruch, told the IDF (Zahal) Website. “As part of our disruptive and preventive activity, we are setting up checkpoints in changing locations to randomly check vehicles and to search for weapons being transported by vehicles.”

Late that night, the soldiers noticed a speeding taxi and signaled the driver to stop. After checking the trunk and the passengers, they searched the trunk, where they found an illegal hunting rifle and roughly 50 bullets. The passengers were taken for questioning.

IDF continues to thwart terror attacks in Judea and Samaria

The confiscated rifle and bullets. Photo: IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson’s Unit

“An incident of this sort is not rare, but it is not something we forget,” Cpt. Baruch explained. “We are prepared operationally for every incident in the sector, and specific events like the discovery of a hunting rifle contribute to the soldiers’ sense of confidence in themselves and to their sense of the importance of our activity here.”

In separate incidents, the Kfir Brigade’s Haruv Battalion encountered a would-be attacker, preventing him from carrying out the intended attacks.

“On Friday [June 21], we received a report of a suspicious adolescent near the entrance [of a post] throwing rocks at the post,” Lt. Niv Juami, a deputy company commander in the battalion, told the IDF (Zahal) Website. “A force immediately went to pursue him, but the adolescent ran away, and then the force went to a different incident. After a while, the adolescent returned to throw rocks, and when we approached him, we ran after him to one of the alleys, in which he lunged at us suddenly with a large rock in his hand and ran toward us.”

Lt. Juami said the adolescent continued and approached the IDF (Zahal) force, which began to follow procedures for arresting a suspect. The force caught him and checked that he was not armed. The attacker was then taken for questioning by Palestinian forces.

Two days later, the company received a report about the same youth, and its soldiers immediately responded. They identified the youth and observed him attempting to ignite a round object with metal parts and an exposed wick.

“The force understood immediately that it was a pipe bomb, seized [the explosive] and disposed of it far away in open territory. Luckily, the youth did not manage to ignite the explosive,” Lt. Juami explained. He also mentioned that IDF (Zahal) trackers arrived to search the area while the youth was taken for questioning.

According to Lt. Juami, any incident in which a 13-year-old boy attempts to attack IDF (Zahal) soldiers with an explosive is relatively unusual.

“The explosives threat is very familiar in our sector, but the attempt by such a young boy is particularly alarming,” he said. “Such an incident illustrates the threats that we face here and sharpens the alertness in the sector. The management of incidents of this kind is a matter of seconds, and everything depends on the force’s readiness and preparedness. I feel that the forces are ready for incidents like these and even more extreme [incidents],” he said.