As part of IDF activity in the city of Rafah to uncover weapon smuggling tunnels, IDF forces exposed three tunnels used for weapon smuggling. During the operation, an exchange of fire erupted, in which two soldiers were lightly wounded. Terrorists detonated dozens of explosives, hurled dozens of grenades, fired anti-tank missiles, and fired numerous times at IDF forces from buildings in the area. IDF forces returned fire.

Since the beginning of the current armed conflict, the city of Rafah has been used a focal point for the smuggling of weapons. Since the beginning of the year, IDF forces have uncovered some 30 weapon smuggling tunnels along the Israel-Egypt border. Since the beginning of the current armed conflict, IDF forces have discovered some 70 weapon smuggling tunnels. During the past week, terrorists operating in the Gaza Strip launched 10 mortars, three Qassam rockets, and three anti- tank missles at Israeli communitys and IDF positions. In addition, 12 explosive devices were detonated, 8 grenades hurled and fire was reported in 20 seperate incidents.

In the West Bank, 131 wanted Palestinians were arrested, including a Tanzim operative planning to carry out a suicide attack. In addition, IDF forces arrested the leader of the Hamas in Nablus. During 10 seperate incidents, terrorists fired at IDF forces. Terrorists also detonated two explosvie devices against IDF forces.

Terrorists detonated an explosive device near an IDF vehicle (north of the “Karni” crossing), lightly wounding 2 IDF soldiers.

A limitation of residence was ordered this week for 18 administrative detainees, to prevent them from participating in terrorist activities. The detainees were transported to the Erez Jailhouse until the Court Procedures conclude.

Detailed Security Events & Activities, according to dates

Gaza Strip:
Thursday, 09/10/03:
IDF forces began a wide- scale operation in the city of Rafah (southern Gaza Strip), to uncover and destory weapon smuggling tunnels. During the operation, an IDF soldier was lightly wounded.

Friday, 10/10/03
During operational activity in Rafah, IDF forces exposed two tunnels used for weapon smuggling – which were concealed under buildings in the area.

Saturday, 11/10/03
During IDF activity in Rafah, IDF forces arrested three wanted Palestinians. During the afternoon an IDF soldier was lightly wounded and was transported to a hospital for treatment. Terrorists detonated an explosive device at IDF forces, lightly wounding three soldiers, along the perimeter fence (north of the “Karni” crossing). The soldiers were given first aid on the scene, were transported to a hospital for further treatment. The vehicle was slightly damaged.

West Bank:
Sunday, 12/10/03
IDF forces arrested a Tanzim operative planning to carry out a suicide terrorist attack, in the Araba village (near Jenin)

Tuesday, 14/10/03
Israeli Border Police manning the Hizma Crossing (Jerusalem), apprehended a 20 year-old Palestinian woman from Al-Azariah attempting to smuggle a pistol, knife, and two cartridges through the crossing in a baby carriage. IDF forces arrested a Tanzim operative in Kadum (west of Nablus) carrying two explosive devices weighing 14 kg and siezed a gun found in the area near his house. The explosive devices were detonated in a controlled manner by IDF sappers.

Wednseday, 15/10/03
IDF forces arrested Bachar Belal in Nablus, the leader of the Hamas in the city, who replaced Muhammad Hanbali, killed during his arrest. A Palestinian female resident of Tulkarem was apprehended at the western checkpoint of the city. The Palestinian woman planned to stab the soldiers positioned at the checkpoint. A knife was seized from the woman. On Ocotober 9th, 2003, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up near a reception window of the Tulkarem DCO at the same outpost. The blast moderately wounded an IDF soldier and lightly wounded another soldier, as well as a Palestinian civilian.