(Communicated by the IDF Spokesperson)

In an Israeli security forces activity, tonight in the city of Nablus, the IAF targeted a vehicle carrying a senior Tanzim terrorist, who is responsible for several terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers.

After repeated efforts to arrest the terrorist were to no avail, the IDF acted in order to thwart future attacks.

The IDF will continue to operate against anyone who is involved in terrorist activities.

Background Information
(Communicated by Israeli security sources)

In a joint security forces operation of the IDF and the ISA in Nablus, tonight (June 14, 2004), the IDF targeted a senior Tanzim terrorist, Halil Muhamed Zuhaid Araysha, in Nablus, born 1980, resident of the Balata refugee camp, married without children, was directly responsible for numerous terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers during recent months. Another two operatives who acted as assistants to Araysha, were also killed in the attack. 

Israeli security forces are acting in order to thwart a series of attempted terrorist attacks directed by Tanzim terrorists.

Araysha, a senior Tanzim terrorist, was involved in dispatching attacks and acted as a senior Tanzim member in the Balata refugee camp, together with Nader Abu-Lil and Hashem Abu-Hamdan who were killed in a security forces operation at the beginning of May 2004.

After the targeting of Abu-Lil and Abu-Hamdan, Araysha became the head of the Tanzim terrorist infrastructure in Balata and was involved in numerous attempts to carry out terrorist attacks with explosives, shooting attacks and suicide bombings in the vicinity of Nablus and inside Israel.

The following is a list of terrorist attacks and attempted attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers in the past year, in which Araysha was involved:

  • March 2003 – Araysha was involved in the dispatching of two terrorists who were supposed to infiltrate the Bracha community; Araysha took pictures of the terrorists, equipped them with weapons and drove them to the area where they were to continue by foot to the community. The terrorist attack was thwarted by the IDF.
  • July 2003 – Araysha was involved in recruiting two suicide bombers for the purpose of carrying out a suicide bombing. He connected the two with Nader Abu –Lil (a Tanzim terrorist who was killed by Israeli security forces on May 2004) who dispatched them to carry out a double suicide bombing inside Israel. The attack was thwarted by the IDF.
  • October 2003 – Araysha was behind the suicide bombing in the DCO facility in Tulkarm, in which an IDF soldier was injured.
  • November 2003 – A suicide bomber exploded himself near an IDF force in the village of Azun, while trying to infiltrate Israel and carry out a bombing. The bomber was recruited by Araysha.
  • December 2003 – Araysha recruited a suicide bomber in order to carry out an attack inside Israel. He sent the bomber to have his hair cut before the attack and armed him with an explosive belt. The bomber decided not to carry out the attack and was eventually arrested.
  • March 2004 – Araysha was involved in recruiting a suicide bomber together with Abu Hamdan and Nader Abu- Lil. The bomber was later arrested with an explosive belt in Ramallah.
  • On May 6, 2004  – Araysha directed a suicide attack using a car bomb rigged with 100 kg of explosives, that was due to detonate near an IDF post in the village of Salem, near Nablus. The attack was thwarted due to intelligence activity.
  • June 3, 2004 – Araysha was behind a terrorist cell who attempted to dispatch a suicide bomber into Jerusalem – an attack which was thwarted due to intelligence activity.