(Communicated by Israeli security sources)

In a joint Border Police and ISA operation in the city of Bethlehem earlier today, April 23, a special border police force identified a vehicle carrying three wanted Palestinians. When the three saw the force, they turned around and began speeding away while exchanging fire with the soldiers. The vehicle then veered off the road, collided with a wall, and burst into flames. Two of the wanted Palestinians, Daniel Sa’aba Gorg Abu Hamama and Ahmed Mahmad Ali Motzlah, were killed. The third, Arafat Mahmud Said Abu Shaira, was lightly wounded and received medical treatment on location. He was then taken to an Israeli hospital to receive further treatment, and will be questioned by security forces. The force searched the vehicle and uncovered a handgun used by the men to fire at the force.

Arafat Abu Shaira, 21, resident of Bethlehem, is a member of the Palestinian security apparatus and a senior Tanzim terrorist in Bethlehem.

Abu Shaira together with Jaber Fuas Eid Achress, who was killed when an IDF force attempted to arrest him on April 9 2006, had been one of the heads of the Tanzim organization in Bethlehem and was responsible for the planning and execution of numerous shooting and terror attacks against Israeli citizens, civilian infrastructure and military targets in the area of Bethlehem and at the neighborhoods of Gilo and Har Homa in Jerusalem. In addition Abu Shaira had assembled a great part of the organization’s explosive devices himself.  

Israel had filed requests with the Palestinian Authority to arrest Abu Shaira, but no action was taken. It should be noted that in the past few weeks he had been hiding in the Bethlehem hospital, exploiting the hospital for terror activities.

Daniel Sa’aba Gorg Abu Hammama, 26, resident of Bethlehem. Hammama was a senior Tanzim terrorist in Bethlehem, who has been wanted for the past few months for his involvement in shooting attacks against the Israeli neighborhoods in Jerusalem, Gilo and Har Homa and other shooting attacks in the area of Bethlehem.

Hammama has been involved in the planning and executing of numerous shooting and terror attacks. Like Abu Shaira, he had been hiding for the past few weeks in the Bethlehem hospital.

Ahmed Mahmad Ali Motzlah, 28, resident of Bethlehem, a wanted Tanzim terrorist, had been wanted for the past four years for his involvement in numerous shooting and terror attacks.