This past week, an IDF soldier was killed, an additional IDF soldier was seriously wounded, and an Israeli civilian was lightly-to-moderately wounded.

Northern Border

During an operation to neutralize an explosives arena in Israeli territory on January 4, an anti-tank missile was fired from Lebanese territory by Hizballah at an IDF bulldozer. As a result, Sergeant First Class Jan Ruchansky was killed and an additional soldier was seriously wounded.

It should be noted that this is the fifth time in recent months that an explosives arena was discovered along the Israel-Lebanon border

January 20, 2004

The Israel Air Force targeted two Hizballah outposts in Lebanese territory. The outposts were used as launching pads for attacks against northern Israel and also functioned as weapon depots.

The Israel Air Force operation took place following the Hizbullah terrorist attack on January 19, 2004.

Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley

During the past week, an Israeli civilian was lightly-to-moderately wounded. In addition, terrorists fired at IDF forces in 11 separate incidents and detonated an explosive device. IDF forces also arrested 135 wanted Palestinians.

January 15, 2004

Terrorists fired at Israeli bus near Silwad, north of Ramallah. No injuries or damage were reported.

January 18, 2004

An Israeli civilian was lightly-to-moderately wounded when terrorists fired at his vehicle as he was traveling between Halamish and Otniel. The wounded civilian was evacuated for treatment.

Terrorists also fired at an Israeli vehicle traveling along the Kevasim Junction. No injuries were reported, but damage was caused to the vehicle.

January 20, 2004

In accordance with a decision reached by the political echelon, IDF forces and Israeli Police demolished a structure in Tapuah West

During the demolition process, three IDF soldiers were lightly wounded. In addition, 23 protestors were arrested.

January 21, 2004

In Tulkarem, IDF forces arrested Ahmed Abdullah Tzalah Hadkarah. Hadkarah, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative, planned to carry out a suicide bombing.

Gaza Strip

– During the past week, terrorists fired two Qassam rockets, 10 mortars, four anti-tank missiles, detonated three explosive devices, hurled three grenades, and fired 15 times at Israeli communities and IDF positions.

– In accordance with a decision reached by the political echelon, and based on security assessments, the full closure placed on the Gaza Strip was removed on January 17, 2004. As such, merchants and workers were permitted to enter Israel.

– As part of ongoing IDF activity against terror, and due to the recent discovery of a weapons smuggling tunnel (as well as a tunnel filled with explosives), IDF forces demolished a number of abandoned structures concealing tunnel entry shafts along the Israel-Egypt border, in the Rafah area.

The abandoned structures were demolished to halt weapon smuggling and terrorist activity against IDF forces and Israeli civilians.