Nov 7: IDF concludes Operation Autumn Clouds in Beit Hanoun

 Beit Hanoun: A hub of terrorist activity

 

Weapons uncovered in a home in Beit Hanoun (IDF Spokesman)

(Communicated by Israeli security sources)

In light of the growing terrorist activity in the Beit Hanoun area (headed first and foremost by Hamas), and due to the severe rocket threat posed from the area to Israeli cities and communities in the western Negev, IDF forces entered Beit Hanoun on November 1st in order to search the area for terrorists, weaponry storage facilities, explosives, bunkers and tunnels and to damage the infrastructure used by the rocket launchers.

In the past year the Gaza Strip has continued to establish itself as a central hub of terrorist activity, as terror organizations continue to improve the range and accuracy of their rockets in order to carry out deadlier attacks. Beit Hanoun is the source of the majority of projectile rockets being fired into Sderot and additional communities in the western Negev, as terrorists make use of highly-populated parts of the town in order to carry out their attacks.

In addition to the rocket launchings, Beit Hanoun’s location nearby the Erez crossing and the Israeli border have transformed it into a launch pad for frequent attacks against the crossing and IDF forces patrolling the border.

The area of Beit Hanoun is also used in attempts to carry out tunnel-based attacks. For instance, on February 26th 2004, two members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades infiltrated through a tunnel dug under the Erez industrial area in order to carry out an attack on the Erez crossing in which an IDF soldier was killed.


IDF Spokesman:

IDF launches operation against rocket-launching infrastructure in Beit Hanoun
Nov 1, 2006

IDF infantry, engineering and armored forces have begun operating in the town of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip. The operation is directed against terror organizations in the town and its goal is to disrupt and prevent the launching of Kassam rockets into Israel. Terror organizations have launched over 300 rockets into Israel from the Beit Hanoun area since the beginning of the year.

Summary of IDF activity in the Beit Hanoun area
Nov 2, 2006

Over the course of the day there were several exchanges of fire between IDF forces and Palestinian gunmen, which included the use of anti-tank missiles against the forces. In one of the incidents an IDF soldier, Staff Sergeant Kiril Golenshein, was killed.

During the day, the IDF carried out an aerial attack against a Kassam rocket launcher in the northern Gaza Strip, which was ready for launch at Israel. IDF forces have killed at least five armed gunmen and identified hitting approximately another ten. More than 15 armed gunmen were killed since the operation began, yesterday, and over 70 others have been hit. Approximately 15 Palestinians suspected of terrorist activity were arrested by IDF forces today in the area of Beit Hanoun, and were taken for questioning by security forces.

Forces uncovered large amounts of weaponry in one of the buildings, including rifles, ammunition and night-vision equipment. The three Palestinians hiding the weaponry in their house were arrested and taken for questioning.

Two Israeli civilians were lightly injured by Kassam rockets which landed in two houses in an Israeli city in the western Negev. Six Kassam rockets landed in Israel today.

Despite continuing terror threats on the crossings at the expense of the Palestinian population, 294 truckloads of food products and medical equipment were transferred to the Gaza Strip through the Karni crossing over the course of the day. In addition, 250 calves, 39 truckloads of medical equipment and 42,000 kg of flour went through the Sufa crossing, and 400,000 liters of diesel fuel, 100,000 liters of gasoline and 150 tons of natural gas went through the Nahal Oz fuel terminal.

The IDF operation targets terrorist organizations and infrastructure only, while making every effort to avoid harming civilians. The IDF continues to warn civilians to stay away from combat areas. The IDF will implement all means at its disposal to prevent and disrupt the launching of rockets at Israel and to damage the terror infrastructure in the Beit Hanoun area.

Summary of IDF activity in the Beit Hanoun area
Nov 4, 2006

The IDF is continuing its operation in Beit Hanoun, which serves as a main launching ground for rockets fired into Israel, and is a hub of activity for the different terror organizations in the Gaza Strip.

Yesterday these organizations showed their willingness to jeopardize the lives of women and children in order to further their goals, further demonstrating disrespect for religious centers when they opened fire at IDF forces from within a mosque.

Events overnight:

IDF forces uncovered a weapons-storage facility concealed in three adjacent buildings which contained large amounts of weaponry including anti-tank missiles, AK-47 assault rifles and grenades. So far in the operation forces have uncovered two Kassam launchers, four anti-tank missiles, 32 AK-47s, 20 grenades, 2 pipe-bombs, various ammunitions, IDF uniforms, 14 protective vests and additional equipment.

The IDF carried out six aerial attacks in the northern Gaza Strip, targeting a cell of rocket launchers, two armed gunmen planting explosives near the forces, three groups of armed gunmen moving near the forces, and an explosive device planted near the forces.

The IDF carried out two aerial attacks in the city of Rafah yesterday and in Gaza City this morning, targeting two vehicles of Hamas terrorists involved in the launching of rockets into Israel.

Summary of IDF activity in the Beit Hanoun area
(Nov 5, 2006)
 
IDF forces are continuing the operation in Beit Hanoun, which serves as a main launching ground for rockets fired into Israel, and is a hub of activity for the different terror organizations in the Gaza Strip. Approximately 40 gunmen have been killed since the beginning of the operation.

Events overnight:

  • The IDF carried out an aerial attack on a Kassam rocket launcher used to launch a rocket into Israel earlier in the evening.
  • The IDF carried out three aerial attacks against armed gunmen identified near the forces.
  • In searches conducted in Beit Hanoun forces arrested two armed gunmen and uncovered AK-47s, explosives and grenades in the house. The two were taken for questioning.
  • In two other houses forces found a suspected explosive device, grenades, a protective vest and IDF uniforms.

Despite continuous terror threats on the crossings at the expense of the Palestinian population, 185 truckloads of food, medical supplies, basic commodities and raw materials were transferred to the Gaza Strip through the Karni crossing yesterday. In addition, 400,000 liters of diesel fuel, 90,000 liters of gasoline and 175 tons of natural gas went through the Nahal Oz fuel terminal.


IDF concludes Operation Autumn Clouds in Beit Hanoun
Nov 7, 2006

Early this morning IDF infantry, engineering and armored forces completed their operations against terror infrastructure and rocket launching infrastructure in Beit Hanoun.

Over the course of the operation:

  • Forces conducted searches throughout the town in order to locate terrorists, gunmen and weaponry.
  • Dozens of armed gunmen were killed in aerial attacks and clashes with soldiers.
  • IDF soldiers uncovered large amounts of weaponry including rocket launchers, anti-tank missile launchers, grenades, explosive devices, AK-47 assault rifles, various ammunitions types, observation equipment and more.
  • The IDF targeted and hit 9 rocket launching cells, some of them also responsible for rocket manufacturing.
  • Dozens of Palestinians suspected of terror involvement were taken for questioning by security forces.
  • An IDF soldier was killed in exchanges of fire during the operation.
  • An attempted suicide bombing against the forces was thwarted following alerts on the planned attack. The female bomber exploded after being stopped by IDF forces, lightly injuring one of the soldiers.
  • In coordination with the DCO, dozens of vehicles passed into Beit Hanoun, carrying food, medical teams, repairmen and additional supplies.