(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)
Following the suicide bombing attack carried out yesterday, July 12, 2005, in Netanya, by the Islamic Jihad terror organization, in which three civilians were murdered and over 90 more were wounded, the IDF conducted a pinpointed arrest activity against the Islamic Jihad terrorist infrastructure in the area of Tulkarm, in order to disrupt and thwart the execution of terror attacks originating from Tulkarm.

The Islamic Jihad terror organization opposes the period of relative calm that was declared between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and for the past several months has made every effort to carry out terror attacks against Israeli targets, including yesterday’s suicide bombing attack in Netanya, in which three civilians were murdered and over 90 more were wounded, and the attempted car bombing attack in the community of Shavei Shomron.

During the entry of the IDF force into Tulkarm, two Palestinian gunmen opened fire at the force. Two soldiers were wounded as a result. The force returned fire at the gunmen and identified hitting them. The two soldiers who were wounded were treated on location and were later evacuated to a hospital to receive further medical treatment.

The IDF will continue to protect Israeli citizens and IDF forces by operating against any group or individuals who continue to carry out terrorist activity or support terrorists. Should the Palestinian Authority not operate sufficiently against terror, the IDF will be forced to operate accordingly.

The city of Tulkarm is the stronghold of the Islamic Jihad infrastructure, and the organization operates freely inside and out of the city.  

General closure on the Judea and Samaria and Gaza Strip areas
In accordance with a decision made by the political echelon and in light of the current security assessment, a general closure will be placed on the Judea and Samaria and Gaza Strip areas. This closure follows the suicide bombing attack yesterday June 12, 2005, in the city of Netanya, in which 3 Israeli civilians were murdered, and dozens more were wounded.

The closure is effective as of this morning and will continue until a renewed security assessment is held.

Throughout the duration of the closure humanitarian cases will be handled and approved by the District Coordination and Liaison offices.